Math/CSCI 4116, Cryptography
Fall 2014
Peter Selinger


Cryptography is the art and science of keeping messages secure. While it was formerly almost exclusively used by state and military authorities, it has in recent decades become of great public importance for uses in the transmission of electronic data. Modern cryptography can be called the science and technology of electronic key systems. It is used to keep data secret, digitally sign documents, control access, etc. Users should not only know how its techniques work, but they must also be able to estimate their efficiency and security.

Instructor: Prof. Peter Selinger.
   Email: selinger@mathstat.dal.ca (please put "4116" in the subject line).
   Office: Chase 303.
   Office hours: TBA.

Lecture times and location: MWF 2:30, Chase 319.

Course Homepage: http://www.mathstat.dal.ca/~selinger/4116/.

Course description: This course is an introduction to modern cryptographic techniques and its mathematical foundations. The material covered includes: elementary number theory and algebra, classical cryptosystems, probability, the Data Encryption Standard, prime number generation and primality tests, public key cryptosystems, and further applications, such as digital signatures and identification.

Prerequisites: Math 1000, 1010, 2030, and at least two mathematics courses beyond the first year.

Textbook: W. Trappe and L.C. Washington: Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2005. This book is available in the Dalhousie bookstore. Look under MATH 4116 (not CSCI 4116).

Course work: I will assign homework in class (30%). There will be an in-class midterm on Monday, October 27 (20%) and a final exam (50%). You must pass the final exam to pass the course.

Missed coursework: Late homework will not be accepted except with my prior permission. A missed midterm exam cannot be written at another time. If you miss the midterm exam without my prior permission, then it will count as a 0. Exceptions are made in two cases: (1) if you obtain my prior permission to miss a test, or (2) if you have an officially valid excuse such as a medical doctor's note. In these cases, the weight of the missed test will be shifted to the final exam (i.e., the final exam will then count 70% instead of 50%).

Grading: Numerical grades are converted to letter grades via the standard Dalhousie scheme: 90 = A+, 85 = A, 80 = A-, 77 = B+, 73 = B, 70 = B-, 65 = C+, 60 = C, 55 = C-, 50 = D, 0 = F.

Students with disabilities: Students with disabilities should register as quickly as possible at Student Accessibility Services if they want to receive academic accommodations. To do so please phone 494-2836, e-mail access@dal.ca, visit http://studentaccessibility.dal.ca/, or drop in at the Mark A. Hill Accessibility Centre just outside the Killam Library at 6227 University Avenue.

Plagiarism policy: Plagiarism is a serious academic offence which may lead to loss of credit, suspension or expulsion from the University, or even the revocation of a degree. Please read the Policy on Intellectual Honesty contained in the Calendar or on the Dalhousie web site at: http://www.dal.ca/academics/academic_calendars/Undergraduate_Calendar_2013_2014/University_Regulations.html#I11.

To Peter Selinger's Homepage: [home]

Peter Selinger / Department of Mathematics and Statistics / Dalhousie University
selinger@mathstat.dal.ca / PGP key