COMP 150-05
Tufts University
Spring 2006


Professor Lenore J. Cowen
Office: Halligan Hall 238
Phone: 617-627-5134 (EMAIL IS PREFERRED: and will average a quicker response)
Email: cowen AT
Office hours: Tuesday 10:30-11:30am; Thursday, 1:30-2:30pm

Teaching Assistants:

Teaching Assistant: Xiangye (Shelly) Li
Email: Xiangye.Li AT
Office hour: Wednesday, 9:30am-10:30am

Required Text Book:

Applied Cryptography, by Bruce Schneier, 2nd Edition. John Wiley and Sons, 1996.

Note: this course is also open to math majors without substantial Computer Science coursework

About the course: 20-5-12-3-15-13-5 20-15 3-18-25-16-20-15-7-18-1-16-8-25! 20-8-9-19 6-21-14 3-12-1-19-19 20-9-12-12 20-5-1-3-8 25-15-21 19-15-13-5 15-6 23-8-1-20 9-19 7-15-9-14-7 15-14 23-9-20-8 13-1-14-25 15-6 20-8-5 16-15-16-21-12-1-18 3-18-25-16-20-15-7-18-1-16-8-9-3 1-12-7-15-18-9-20-8-13-19. 4-5-19-16-9-20-5 20-8-5 6-15-18-13 15-6 20-8-9-19 20-5-12-3-15-13-5, 23-5 23-9-12-12 2-5 6-15-3-21-19-19-9-14-7 15-14 8-15-23 20-15 13-1-121-5 7-15-15-4 5-14-3-18-16-20-9-15-14 19-3-8-5-13-5-19, 14-15-20 8-15-23 20-15 2-18-5-1-11 2-1-4 15-14-5-19.

Class Structure: This class will teach you some of what's going on behind many of the popular cryptographic algorithms. Because the class has a big independent project component, it is easy to delve deeply into the parts of the topic that interest you! The first month will be mostly lectures; we will introduce the algorithms behind Diffie-Helman Key Exchange, RSA Public-Key Encryption, and Digital Signatures, developing the mathematics we need as we go to understand both the algorithms and the hardness assumptions and delicate issues in their practical implementation. In the second 2/3 of the class, we will devote half the class period to a more "seminar" format, where a set of readings will be assigned the previous week on a special topic, all students will be responsible for reading the papers; but a pair of students will be in charge of leading the discussion on that topic in class based on the readings.

This class also has a substantial independent project component. Start thinking about what you want to do your project early; a formal project proposal is due the week after Spring break (March 30), and the final project itself is due May 2. There will be no extensions on the due date for the final project.

Special Topic Dates (and Readings):


There will be several hw assigments and a final project.