Fall 2002
Math 124: Elementary Number Theory
Taught by William Stein on MWF at 11am in SC 103B.
Office Hours: Monday 5-6 and Tuesday 2-3.
Virtual Office Hours
Daily Handouts
Homework Assignments
Final Examination

In-class MAGMA logs
Student Projects

Math 124 is Harvard's undergraduate elementary number theory course. The main ideas of the course are prime numbers, arithmetic modulo n, public-key cryptosystems, quadratic forms, continued fractions, and elliptic curves. This course is unusual for an introductory number theory course in that we will go deeper into elliptic curves than usual, we will learn more about using computers to do number theory, and we will read a novel.


Niven, Zuckerman, and Montgomery is recommended but not required. Doxiadis's book is required.


Check out this MAGMA documentation!. (In particular, read the "First steps in MAGMA" booklet!)

In class I will frequently use the MAGMA computer algebra system to demonstrate ideas. Students in the course are entitled to a Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X version of this program for their own computer. Also, I will give MECCAH accounts to students in the course.


These are some of the papers I'll mention in class:


Please read the syllabus.

Course Catalog Entry

Catalog Number: 2398
Half course (fall term). MWF at 11. EXAM GROUP: 4
Office Hours: TBA
Prerequisite: Mathematics 122 (abstract algebra), which may be taken concurrently. If you haven't taken 122 or won't take it concurrently, email me at [email protected].


Official Course Website