COMP 150 Cryptography - Syllabus

Description and Objective:
This course is intended as an introduction to cryptography. The course is intended for senior-level undergraduates and graduate students looking for background material in the foundations of cryptography. The material covered will include various models of encryption - symmetric and asymmetric, pseudorandomness, digital signatures, and network applications to cryptography.

The textbook for the course is Cryptography and Network Security by William Stallings, Fourth Edition, 2006 Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-187316-4


Ben Hescott
Halligan Hall Extension, Room 005
Office Hours: Monday 4:30-7, Tuesday 2:00-4:00, Wednesday 11-12 or by appointment.

Students are encouraged to communicate frequently with the instructor regarding any issues with the course. Students are encouraged to use email and office hours frequently. Any announcements regarding the course will be made via the course webpage or in class so be sure to check it frequently and be sure to get material for any class you miss.

Homework will be assigned regularly in the course. While reading assignments will not be directly assigned it is important that students use the textbook to supplement their understanding of the material presented in the lecture. The majority of the assignments will be written assignments due on Thursdays - submit to my mailbox in the cs department offfice. This work can be handwritten with the assumption that these assignments are legible. (A student may be asked to type their assignments if grading is not possible.)

There will be one programming assignment, students will choose an encryption scheme to implement at some point during the course. Due the last day of class.

Late Homeowork:
Because of the size of the class and the amount of homework 15% of the total number of points for the assignment will be deducted daily. No homework will be accepted after one week.

There will be a midterm exam on October 21 and a final on December 17, 12-2, during the regularly scheduled I+ block final time. The final is cumulative.

Grade Calculation:
50% Homework
10% Programming Assignment
5% Class participation
15% Midterm Exam - Oct 21
20% Final - December 17, 12 - 2

Your thoughts and concerns on this course are important. You are encouraged to give feedback to the instructor and teaching fellow throughout the term. As always students will be asked to fill out a course evaluation at the end of the term.

Academic Misconduct:
Students should read the Tufts brochure on academic conduct located:

A few highlights are presented to emphasize importance:

Absolute adherence to the code of conduct is demanded of the instructor, teaching fellow, and students. This means that no matter the circumstance any misconduct will be reported to Tufts University.

While students are encouraged to discuss course materials, no collaboration is allowed on homework. Specifically you may discuss assignments and projects verbally, but must write up or work on the computer alone. In addition any discussion should be documented. An example on the homework would be "Thanks to Saket for giving me a hint how to show P=NP." Another important example is citing a source, this could be "This information was adapted from"

While computers enable easy copying and collaboration both with other students and materials from the Internet, it is possible to use these same computers to detect plagiarism and collaboration.

If any student does not understand these terms or any outlined in The Academic Code of Conduct it is his/her responsibility to talk to the instructor or teaching fellow.