Math 187B: The mathematics of modern cryptography (Spring 2017)

Main Grades SageMathCloud

Catalog description: The object of this course is to study modern public key cryptographic systems and cryptanalysis (e.g. RSA, Diffie-Hellman, Elliptic Curve Cryptography, Lattice-based cryptography, Homomorphic Encryption) and the mathematics behind them. We also explore other applications of these computational techniques (e.g. integer factorization and attacks on RSA).

Prerequisites: Math 187/187A and one of Math 18 or 20F or 31AH.

Lecture: MWF 1:00-1:50pm in Peterson 103 102

Instructor: Alina Bucur
Office: AP&M 7151
Office hours: M 2:30-3:30pm, W 10-10:50am (if you cannot make either of these times, please email me for an appointment).

Discussion sections: Th mornings. Please check Blink for your section time. Please attend only your assigned section, as space is limited; if you need to switch sections, see the math front office (APM 7401).

TA: Zonglin Jiang
Office: AP&M 5748
Office hours: Th 11am-12pm, F 3-4pm

Required text: none. However, students will be required to bring a computer to class to access SMC (see below).
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.)

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.
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!
Misuse of SMC, including abusive or intolerant behavior, will be subject to campus disciplinary measures.

Computers: Students will need to bring to class a laptop that can access the SageMathCloud web site. The only exceptions are quiz days.

Quizzes: There will be 3 quizzes administered Fridays during lecture. Sample quizzes will be posted on Friday the previous week. You can use printouts of the class notes. They can be slightly annotated (some minor corrections or writing in the margin, highlighter), but nothing beyond that. No other materials or resources are allowed. In particular you may not bring homework solutions (either your own or your TA's). You are also not allowed to bring electronic devices such as a cellphone, calculator, computer, or tablet. (The quizzes may require some arithmetic computations, but these are designed to be done by hand.) All quizzes will have assigned seating.

Homework: There will be 6 assignments, due Fridays at 8pm. All assignments will be assigned, completed, submitted, evaluated, and returned using SageMathCloud; the process for this will be explained in class. For security reasons, grades will not be posted within SMC; check TritonED for those.
Each computer assignment counts as one quiz.

Final exam: Monday, June 12, 8-11am, location TBD. 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 2 quizzes. This grade cannot be dropped. The same rules as the quizzes: assigned seating, no electronics, the only material allowed are slightly annotated class notes. 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.
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 Thursday April 13.
The lowest quiz/hw 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 under any circumstances. Cheating on an exam/quiz/hw 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.

Late adds: No matter when you add the course, you are responsible for all the hw, quizzes, etc. No exceptions.

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 quiz in order for us to make a change. We do have access to the electronic homework on SMC. 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:  The quizzes will be returned in discussion sections. The hw will be returned electronically in SMC. (The final will not be returned.)

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 and who have had some nontrivial interaction with me outside lecture.