Foundations of Computation

We are engaged in teaching theoretical computer science and mathematics at various study programs at the University of St. Gallen.

Our research focuses on coding theory and post-quantum cryptography. With our results we aim to improve digital communication technologies in their reliability, efficiency and security.

In particular, we develop new error correcting codes and decoding algorithms for modern applications, such as distributed storage, network communication and quantum computers. Furthermore, we are very active in developing and analyzing new cryptographic methods for secure communication in the soon to come age of quantum computers. Here we mostly focus on code-based and isogeny-based cryptography.


We conduct research in the areas of coding theory and post-quantum cryptography.

  • Coding theory: Communication or storage of digital data is a noisy process, by nature. This means that part of you data is usually lost or corrupted during the communication or storage process. The goal of error-correcting codes is to encode your data beforehand, such that the receiver (or yourself in the case of storage) can recover the original data from the received noisy data. To do that in the most efficient way is the main goal of coding theory. The techniques used to achieve this are mainly taken from discrete mathematics and (linear) algebra.
  • Post-quantum cryptography: Cryptography is the theoretical and algorithmic side of cybersecurity. The subfield of post-quantum cryptography deals with the development of various cryptographic algorithms to keep data secure, even in the not-too-distant future, when full scale quantum computers will exist. Quantum computers pose a dramatic threat to almost all of our currently implemented public-key cryptosystems, therefore it is of utmost importance to create new cryptosystems that are not attackable by quantum computers. Currently the National Institue of Standards and Technology (NIST) is running an international standardization process for post-quantum cryptosystems, and we are actively participating by cryptanalyzing existing submissions and developing new alternative methods.


A list of publications of Anna-Lena Horlemann can be found at her personal webpage.

We are currently teaching various courses for various study programs at the University of St. Gallen:

Spring semester:

  • Diskrete Mathematik (2,900)

  • Basics of Cyber Security - from Safe Passwords to Blockchains (4,584)

  • Mathematical Tools for Data Science (3,584)

Autumn semester:

  • Grundlagen der Informatik (1,900)

  • Introduction to Cryptography and Cybersecurity (7,377)

  • Error Correcting Codes and Their Applications (10,709)


Moreover, we organize the joint Swiss research seminar on coding theory and cryptography with the University of Zurich and the University of Neuchatel

Enable This Content

Content required confirmation

Show More

What is Post-Quantum Cryptography? And why do we need it?

Enable This Content

Content required confirmation

Show More

Code-Based Cryptography - an Overview : Prof. Anna-Lena Horlemann



Are you interested in our research or would you like to be a part of our team? Please contact Prof. Anna-Lena Horlemann per E-Mail.

More information can be found on the personal Homepage of Prof. Anna-Lena Horlemann.