CS 346 (Spring 2020)

Syllabus: For revised syllabus, see file syllabus-covid.pdf in Canvas.
original syllabus
Logistics: TTh 2:00-3:30
GDC 4.302
Unique Number: 50540
Professor: David Zuckerman
Email: diz@cs.utexas.edu
Phone: 471-9729
Office: GDC 4.508
Office Hours: TTh 3:30-4:30
TA: Ridwan Syed
Email: ridwan@cs.utexas.edu
Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30, TA desk 4, GDC 1st floor
Textbook: Jonathan Katz and Yehuda Lindell, Introduction to Modern Cryptography
Other References: Salil Vadhan's lecture notes
Dan Boneh and Victor Shoup, A Graduate Course in Applied Cryptography
Avi Wigderson, Mathematics and Computation
Course Overview: This undergraduate course is an introduction to cryptography, covering the mathematical techniques behind computer security. It includes methods to communicate secretly and authenticate data in the presence of adversarial attacks. We will show how to do seemingly impossible tasks, such as how two parties can communicate secretly even if they didn't agree on a secret key beforehand. To do this properly, we'll need to give precise definitions and computational assumptions, so that we can rigorously prove security. This course will be very mathematical, relying on probability and number theory and mathematical proof. A list of topics and approximate times follows.

Topic Chapter(s) Approximate Time
Introduction, Perfect Secrecy 1-2 1 week
Private-Key Encryption 3 2 weeks
Computational Number Theory 8 1 week
One-Way Functions, Pseudorandomness 7 1 week
Authentication 4 1-2 weeks
Hash Functions 5 1 week
Public-Key Cryptography 10-12 2-3 weeks
Advanced Topics N/A 1-2 weeks

Prerequisites: CS 331 or 331H. Naturally, you also need the prerequisites and corequisites for CS 331, including Discrete Math (CS 311 or 311H), Probability (SDS 321 or M 362K), and Linear Algebra (SDS 329C, Math 340L, or Math 341). Probability is essential, so make sure you know it well. Number theory is helpful but not required. Students should know the material in the mathematical background sheet.
Grading: 70% In-Class Exams
30% Homework
Exams: There will be three in-class exams. Exam 1 will be held in class on Thursday, February 20. Exam 2 will be held in class on Thursday, April 2. Exam 3 will be held in class on Thursday, May 7. No make-up exams will be given, so plan accordingly. You may bring a single, 8.5x11 inch, handwritten sheet of paper (you may use both sides). No calculators are allowed (they won't be necessary).
Homework: There will be 8-10 homework assignments.

Collaboration policy: While you should first think about the problems on your own, you are encouraged to discuss the problems with your classmates. Please limit your collaborations on any particular homework to at most three other students. Discussion of homework problems may include brainstorming and verbally walking through possible solutions, but should not include one person telling the others how to solve the problem. In addition, each person must write up their solutions independently, and these write-ups should not be checked against each other or passed around or emailed. You must acknowledge any collaboration by writing your collaborators' names on the front page of the assignment. You don't lose points by having collaborators.

Citation policy: Try to solve the problems without reading any published literature or websites, besides the class text and links off of the class web page. If, however, you do use a solution or part of a solution that you found in the literature or on the web, you must cite it. Furthermore, you must write up the solution in your own words. You will get at most half credit for solutions found in the literature or on the web.

Late policy: No late homeworks will be accepted.

Laptops/Phones: The use of laptops and mobile devices is generally prohibited; however, you may use a tablet if you sit in the first row and use it only for class-related purposes. Other exceptions may be made in unusual circumstances. All phones must be silenced.
Canvas: We will use Canvas, which contains Piazza. Homeworks and grades will be posted on Canvas. We will use Piazza for class discussion. Instead of emailing questions to the teaching staff, please post your question to Piazza.

Last modified: March 31, 2020.