In studying modern (and classical) cryptography, many notions from information theory crop up. Unicity distance, min-entropy, compression, encoding, etc. What parts of information theory should be part of the knowledge corpus of a working cryptographer?

  • $\begingroup$ To the mods: This question is within the scope of the site as I understand it. However I would not be offended if the community votes to close it; it is formatted more like a community wiki than a specific question. $\endgroup$ – pg1989 Nov 4 '13 at 6:57
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect this is too broad to be a good fit for this site: you could probably write a whole book about it. (Also, the answer depends on what you mean by a "working cryptographer".) $\endgroup$ – D.W. Nov 7 '13 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ I was afraid of that. I was hoping to get something resembling a table of contents for a book about the subject, but that might have been too ambitious. $\endgroup$ – pg1989 Nov 7 '13 at 10:09
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    $\begingroup$ It's hard to narrow something like that down into an answer that would fit SE. But you can get an initial idea by looking at the knowledge range of people that have recently been recognized for their “Advances in Cryptography”. Most start out with Computer Science and add Information Theory to it. Diving in deeper, you can check the education of well known and/or successful cryptographers to see if there are fields that best fit your (educational) interests and abilities. $\endgroup$ – e-sushi Nov 10 '13 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ Example: the parts of Information Theory that fit my personal interests best are Number Theory and Chaos Theory. Others might think different, have different interests, or different abilities — which might or might not fit cryptography better. In the end, it depends on what exactly you want to end up doing as a “professional cryptographer” — do you want to invent, teach, analyze, …? Every subfield of cryptography has it's own, individual requirements and expectations in education and knowledge range. (So yes, your question is a bit too broad. Even comments tend to grow beyond the usual.) $\endgroup$ – e-sushi Nov 10 '13 at 16:19