Fall 2017
Unique Number 51670
CS 346
Cryptography


 
Instructor Greg Plaxton; office hours MW 1:30-2:30 in GDC 4.512; plaxton at cs dot utexas dot edu.
   
Teaching Assistant Chi-Kit (George) Lam; office hours TF 10:30-11:30 in GDC 1.302 (Desk 4); geocklam at cs dot utexas dot edu.
   
Lecture Time and Location MW 11-12:30 in GDC 4.304
   
Textbook The textbook for the course is Introduction to Modern Cryptography (second edition) by Katz and Lindell (Chapman & Hall/CRC, 2015).
   
Course Outline This course focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of cryptography. Mathematically precise notions of cipher security will be presented. The security properties of a wide variety of cipher constructions will be rigorously analyzed, using tools related to pseudorandom structures and number theory. The following major topics will be covered: classical cryptography, private-key encryption, message authentication codes, collision-resistant hash functions, practical and theoretical constructions of private-key primitives, number theory, cryptographic hardness assumptions, public-key encryption, digital signatures, and secret sharing. See the schedule for a more detailed lecture plan.
   
Prerequisites The following coursework with a grade of at least C-: Computer Science 429 (or 310) or 429H (310H); 331 (or 357), 331H (or 357H), 341, or 341H; and credit with a grade of at least C- or registration for: Mathematics 340L, 341, or Statistics and Data Sciences 329C (or Statistics and Scientific Computation 329C).
   
Recommended Exercises There will be six sets of recommended exercises, mostly consisting of textbook exercises. You should not turn in solutions to these exercises, as they will not be graded. Sample solutions will be provided. Working on these exercises will help you to prepare for the quizzes and tests.
   
Quizzes There will be a short quiz in almost every class, except for the first day and the two test days. Each quiz will be closed book and closed notes. If you miss a quiz for any reason (legitimate or otherwise), you will get a zero for that quiz. However, when we compute your quiz average at the end of the semester, we will throw out roughly the bottom third of your quiz scores. To be more precise, if there are k quizzes, then your quiz average will be computed as the average of your highest ⌊2k/3⌋ quiz scores.
   
Tests There will be two in-class tests. The tests will be closed book and closed notes, except that one page of notes will be allowed (both sides may be used). The first test will be held on Wednesday, October 18. The second test will be held on Monday, December 11. Please try to arrive in class a few minutes early on the test dates; this will allow us to start the test right at the beginning of the class period.
   
Make-Up Tests Please note that no make-up tests will be given in this course. If a student has a legitimate and properly documented excuse for missing a test, the missing score will be estimated based on the student's performance on the other test.
   
Overall Raw Score Half of a student's overall raw score will be based on their quiz average (after throwing out the low third of their quiz scores as discussed above), and the other half will be based on their test average.
   
Letter Grades The overall raw scores will be mapped to letter grades at the end of the semester. The numerical cutoffs associated with this mapping will depend to some degree on the overall performance of the class. Estimates of these cutoffs will be provided as the semester progresses.
   
Online Forum Piazza will be used for online discussion of the course material. If you have a question for the instructional staff that might be of interest to someone else, you should generally post it to Piazza instead of sending an email.
   
Disabilities Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259.
   
Feedback Throughout the semester, please feel free to provide feedback to the instructor regarding any aspect of the course.