Math 187/187A: Introduction to Cryptography (Winter 2017)

Main Handouts Grades AppletsSageMathCloud

This course used to be called MATH 187. It has the same content as MATH 187 from previous years, but it is in the process of changing its catalog number. It is still 187 on blink.

Lecture: MWF 11-11:50am in Ledden Auditorium

Instructor: Alina Bucur
Office: AP&M 7151
Office hours: Th 3-4pm (if you cannot make either of these times, please email me for an appointment).

Discussion sections: Everyone is expected to attend the section they are registered for. Only students registered in that section will be allowed in the discussion classroom. Please check blink for your discussion time.

TAs: Quang Bach Geoffrey Ganzberger Marc Loschen Kyle Meyer
A05, A06 A03, A04 A02 A01
OH W 5:30-7:30pm W 2:30-4:30pm Th 10am-12pm M 1-2pm
Teaching and Learning Commons
Geisel 1st floor
Muir Woods Coffee Shop APM 5412 APM 6446

Required text: none. Notes will be provided as handouts in class and/or online. For those really interested, a good reference is An introduction to mathematical cryptography by Hoffstein, Pipher and Silverman. (The link provides electronic access through UCSD library.)

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

SageMathCloud: SageMathCloud is a web service running the Sage open-source computer algebra system, but it can be accessed using any web browser and so requires no special software installation. Sage in turn is based on the Python programming language, but no prior knowledge of the Python language will be assumed.
All students are required to create an account on SageMathCloud using their email address in order to complete and submit assignments. There is no cost for a basic account, so you can try out the software for free. Students registered in the class will get a free upgrade to full functionality.
Note that the web interface is not currently optimized for small screens like smartphones; you might be able to manage with a large tablet and keyboard, but I can't guarantee that this will work. I also recommend bringing a suitable device to lecture/discussion so that you can try things out as we demonstrate them! I will post a note under Announcements a few days before the lectures when we will use SMC to alert you that you should bring a suitable device to class.
Misuse of SMC, including abusive or intolerant behavior, will be subject to campus disciplinary measures.

Quizzes: There will be 6-8 quizzes administered Fridays during lecture. Sample quizzes will be posted on Friday the previous week.

Homework: There will be a 3-4 computer assignments: 1 computer assignment on codebreaking using the applets; 2-3 computer assignments using SageMathCloud.
Each computer assignment counts as one quiz.

Final exam: Monday, March 20, 11:30-2:30pm, Ledden Auditorium. Please note that by signing up for this course, you are agreeing to sit for the final examination at this date and time. The exam is not cumulative and it counts as 3 quizzes. This grade cannot be dropped. Please bring a blue book to the final.

Grading: All grades are recorded on TritonED.
Only grades that appear in TritonED will be included in calculating the total score for the course.
The final will be worth as much as 3 quizzes. The computer assignment counts as 1 quiz.
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 Friday Jan 20.
All tests will be open books and open notes. You will not need a computer for the any of the tests, but a calculator might be useful for some of the tests. If you do use a computer, you can only access the class website or SageMathCloud. No messaging, no search engines, no websites other than the two explicitly allowed, no communication of any sort with any other people, be they friends or enemies.
The lowest quiz score will be dropped. If you miss one quiz, your score will be 0 on it and that will automatically become your lowest quiz score and be dropped. The final exam grade will not be dropped under any circumstances.
No make-up exams and no make-up quizzes will be given. Cheating on an exam/quiz or any infringement of academic integrity results in failing the class, as well as further disciplinary action. Please read very carefully the following ACADEMIC INTEGRITY GUIDELINES.

Grade Recording Errors:  Keep all of your returned quizzes and homeworks. If there is any mistake in the recording of your scores, you will need the original assignment/quiz in order for us to make a change. The error has to be reported within 1 week since it occurred. No error reports will be accepted after week #9 of the term.

Regrade Policy:  All graded material (except the final) will be returned in discussion sections. 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. Return your test immediately to your TA. Regrade requests will not be considered once the test leaves the room.
    • 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:
      1. return your test immediately to your TA
      2. and
      3. ask that they forward it to the instructor.
    • Instructor review requests will not be considered once the test leaves the room.
  2. Retrieve your test during discussion section or arrange to pick it up from your TA within one week after it was made available for pickup (i.e., returned) in section. In order to be considered, regrade requests must be submitted within one week after being returned in section.

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.

Communication:  I am happy to talk/answer questions right after class or during office hours. If you cannot make the office hours posted, email me to make an appointment. As a general rule, 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 the next person with the same question!