Math 187A: Introduction to Cryptography (Spring 2020)

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be completely online. The policies below will continue to be updated until UCSD finalizes its setup for delivering content online.

Online instruction is new to us all. I will do my best to give you all the tools to succeed, but I also need your help. I suggest you follow these tips on how to succeed in online instruction from UCSD Educational Psychologist Celeste Pilegard. She is an expert on multimedia learning.

California law prohibits any recording of communication without the express consent of all the attendees. You do not have my consent or any of the TA's consent to record any interactions (including but not limited to lectures, discussions, and office hours). It is therefore illegal to record and you would be liable to prosecution and civil suits.

However some students will not be able to attend the live sessions due to a variety of reasons (e.g. different time zone). In order to accommodate everyone's needs, lectures and discussions will be recorded and reposted for asynchronous view. By attending the live lecture, you give permission to be recorded by the instructional staff only, not by other students. If you do not want to be recorded, please view the recorded lecture after it has been posted. Office hours are going to be more important than ever; everyone should make full use of them. We will be sure to schedule them in a way that gives you a chance to participate regardless of the time zone you are in.

Students do not have permission to share the recordings or the links to the recordings with anyone at all.

Lecture: MWF 12-12:50pm via Zoom (link posted on TritonED); nominal physical location: Warren Lecture Hall, room 2001

Instructor: Alina Bucur
Office: AP&M 7151
Office hours: W 3-5pm PDT or by appointment

Discussion sections: Everyone is expected to attend the section they are registered for. Attending section is not mandatory and you can attend any section you choose, not necessarily the one you are registerd for. Due to bandwidth constraints, only students registered in that section will be allowed in the discussion classroom. Please check blink for your discussion time.

TAs: Mingjie Chen Patrick Girardet Daniel Kongsgaard Mozhgan Mirzaei Bharatha Rankothge
A03 A01 A05, A06 A04 A02, A07
OHTh 8-10pm PDT W 10-11:59pm PDT F 8-10am PDT Th 11am-12pm, 8-9pm PDTF 3-5pm PDT

Required text: none. Notes will be provided as handouts online. For those who want to read more, a good reference is An introduction to mathematical cryptography by Hoffstein, Pipher and Silverman. (The link provides electronic access through UCSD library. You will have to VPN into the UCSD network in order to gain access to it.)

Handouts: You will need a username and password to access this part of the website. The credentials will be posted in TritonEd.

Homework: First and foremost, late homework will not be accepted and there will be no exception to this rule. If you fail to submit your homework before the deadline, then you will automatically receive a zero for that assignment. Please do not contact the instruction staff to ask for leniency!
There will be 8 assignments in total. Homework assignments are posted on the class website under the Homework tab, and due at 10:00pm 11:59pm on the indicated date through Gradescope. Before the deadline, you may submit as many copies of your homework paper as you would like; however, only the most recent submission will be considered. All problems on homework assignments will be graded for correctness. We strongly encourage that you type your solution. Handwritten papers should be legible or your homework may not be graded. The scores and solutions to these problems will be available on Gradescope and TritonED.

Quizzes: There will be 3 quizzes of 20min each administered through Gradescope. You can use any resources (notes, books, even search engines) but not communicate with any other humans. You will have a 24 hour interval to check out a given quiz. Accessing the file on Gradescope will start the timer and you will have 20min from that moment to submit your solutions. The lowest quiz score will be dropped. There will be no makeup or extensions on quizzes. Handwritten papers should be legible or your quiz may not be graded and earn a score of 0.

Final project: due W 6/10/20 at 2:30pm PDT. Please note that by signing up for this course, you are agreeing to submit the final project by this date and time regardless of the timezone you are in. This grade cannot be dropped. Same rules as the quizzes: you can use any resources but not communicate with any other humans.

Grading: All grades are recorded on TritonED.
Only grades that appear in TritonED will be included in calculating the total score for the course.
It is your responsibility to make sure your grades are recorded in TritonED. If you do not have access to TritonED, make sure you get it by Wednesday April 8.

Since these parameters have been chosen to be somewhat forgiving, no additional excuses will be granted (not even for students joining the course late). No exceptions.
The lowest hw score will be dropped. The lowest quiz score will be dropped. If you miss one hw and/or quiz, your score will be 0 on it and that will automatically become your lowest score and be dropped. The final project grade will not be dropped under any circumstances.
No make-up exams and no make-up hw will be given.
Cheating on an quiz/hw/project or any infringement of UCSD's academic integrity or harassment policies will result in failing the class, as well as further disciplinary action. If you suspect a violation, please bring it to the attention of the instructor and/or TA immediately.

There will be no curve in this class, and therefore no pressure to compete against other students. Grade cutoffs:

Percentage 97 93 90 87 83 80 77 73 70
Minimum grade A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C-

Grade Recording Errors:  The error in a recorded TritonEd has to be reported within 1 week since it occurred. That means that you should check your scores weekly in order to not miss the reporting window. No error reports will be accepted after week #9 of the term.

Regrade Policy:  If you believe there might be an error in the grading and wish to have your quiz/homework regraded, you must observe the following rules.

  1. Regrade requests will not be considered later than a week after the material was graded.
  2. If you disagree with the TA's answer to your regrade request, you may ask for the instructor to review it. In order to do this, you must:
    • make your request within 24 hours of receiving the TA's answer
    • and
    • ask that they forward it to the instructor.
  3. Instructor review requests will not be considered later than 8 days after the material was graded.
  4. No regrade requests will be considered after week 9, except for the final exam.

Letters of recommendation:  In general, you should try to get a letter of recommendation from a professor with whom you had some one-to-one contact. I will consider recommendation requests only from people who have placed in the top 25% of the class (in the past, this meant a grade of A+) and who have had some nontrivial interaction with me outside lecture (which this quarter amounts to interacting with me during zoom office hours).

Communication:  I am happy to talk/answer questions right before and after lecture or during office hours. If you cannot make the office hours posted, email me to make a zoom appointment. Due to the large size of the class, I will not respond to email unless it is a request to set up an appointment. If you email me with a general question, the answer might be an update to the website for the benefit of anyone with the same question!

Electronic devices: Please make sure your mic is muted when you don't need to speak. No visual or audio recording is allowed in class/section without prior permission of the instructor and all other attendees (whether by camera, cell phone, or other means).