Course Guidelines Math 133
Dr. R. Beezer Fall 2003
Texts   We will be using the following texts, which are available in the Bookstore.
The Code Book, by Simon Singh
Invitation to Cryptology, by Thomas H. Barr
Secrets and Lies, by Bruce Schneier
Crypto, by Steven Levy
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
Codes and Ciphers, by Mark Fowler
Home Page   Start at to locate the WWW page for this course.
Office Hours   My office is Thompson 321G; the telephone number is 879-3564. Making appointments or simple, non-mathematical questions can be handled via electronic mail - my address is Office hours will be 10:00-10:50 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9:30-10:50 on Tuesday. I will always be available during these times on a first-come, first-served basis. If these times are not convenient, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with me for another time. You are also welcome to drop by my office without an appointment at any time that I am in (2 P.M. to 4 P.M. is a good time to try). Office hours are your opportunity to receive extra help or clarification on material from class, or to discuss any other aspect of the course.
Practicums   There will be nine practical exercises in cryptology through the course. You will be provided with a written explanantion for each, and they will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Tentative due dates are given on the schedule.
I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.
    - Chinese Proverb
Reading   We will work through The Code Book and Invitation to Cryptology deliberately, and dates for sections of these books are listed on the schedule. We will discuss Secrets and Lies and Crypto near the end of the semester, so you will want to be reading these two books in advance of those discussions. Reading these two books early will be of some assistance as you formulate topics for your research project. Cryptonomicon is a novel, and you will be expectred to be reading it uniformly through the semester. For example, you should be one-fourth of the way through by the time we have the first examination.
Puzzles   The Codes and Ciphers book has 20 puzzles. The schedule indicates on every other Monday just where you should be in working through this book.
Discussions   You will be organized into groups for weekly email discussions. Original submissions are due by midnight Friday each week, and conscientious efforts are worth three points. Replies to others' postings are worth 1 point each, and are due by midnight on Sunday. Please begin the subject line of each message with "Math 133" and be sure to include me on your distribution. Your discussion may concern any of the readings assigned to date.
Research Project   A major portion of this course will be a research project on some public-policy or societal aspect of cryptology. It will include both written and oral presentations, along with early drafts. A more detailed description of the assignment will be distributed.
Examinations   There will be four one-hour exams - see the attached sheet for tentative dates. The final exam will be given at 4 P.M. on Wednesday, December 17. The final exam cannot be given at any other time, so be certain that you do not make any travel plans that conflict, and also be aware that I will allow you to work longer on the final exam than just the two-hour scheduled block of time.
Grades   Grades will be based on the following breakdown: Exams - 35%; Discussions - 20%; Practicums - 10%; Research Project - 20%; Final - 15%. Homework, attendance and improvement will be considered for borderline grades. Scores will be posted on the World Wide Web at No work will be accepted late. A reminder about withdrawals - a Withdrawal Passing grade (W) can only be given during the third or fourth weeks of the semester, after that time (barring unusual circumstances), the appropriate grade is a Withdrawal Failing (WF), even if your work has been of passing quality. See the attached schedule for the last day to drop with an automatic `W' and please read The Logger about these often misunderstood grades.
Attendance   Daily attendance is required and expected, and is a pretty good idea.
Syllabus   Please read the distributed syllabus for a discussion of the purpose of this course - both as a freshman seminar within the core curriculum and as a course in cryptology for the educated citizen.
Tentative Daily Schedule

Monday Wednesday Friday

Sep 1
Labor Day

Sep 3

Sep 5
Singh, Chap 1

Sep 8
Singh, Chap 2
Puzzles, p. 57

Sep 10
Barr, Chap 1

Sep 12
Barr, Sec 2.1, 2.2
Practicum #1

Sep 15
Barr, Sec 2.3, 2.4

Sep 17
Barr, Sec 2.5, 2.6

Sep 19
Barr, Sec 2.7, 2.8

Sep 22
Singh, Chap 3
Puzzles, p. 63

Sep 24
Singh, Chap 4

Sep 26
Singh, Chap 5
Practicum #2

Sep 29
Exam #1
Last day to drop

Oct 1
Barr, Sec 3.1-3.3

Oct 3
Barr, Sec 3.4
Practicum #3 Due

Oct 6
Barr, Sec 3.5
Puzzles, p. 69

Oct 8
Barr, Sec 5.1

Oct 10
Barr, Sec 3.6

Oct 13
Singh, Chap 6
Position Paper,
Proposal Due

Oct 15
Singh, Chap 7
Practicum #4 Due

Oct 17
Exam #2
Monday Wednesday Friday

Oct 20
Fall Break
Puzzles, p. 74

Oct 22
Barr, Sec 4.1

Oct 24
Barr, Sec 4.2
Practicum #5 Due

Oct 27
Barr, Sec 4.3

Oct 29
Barr, Sec 4.4

Oct 31
Barr, Sec 4.5
Practicum #6 Due

Nov 3
Barr, Sec 4.6
Puzzles, p. 79

Nov 5
Barr, Sec 4.7

Nov 7
No class
Practicum #7 Due

Nov 10
Exam #3

Nov 12
Position Papers,
Draft Due

Nov 14
Practicum #8 Due

Nov 17
Singh, Chap 8
Puzzles, p. 85

Nov 19

Nov 21
Practicum #9 Due

Nov 24
Position Papers Due

Nov 26
Exam #4

Nov 28

Dec 1
Position Papers,
Oral Presentations
Puzzles, p. 89

Dec 3
Position Papers,
Oral Presentations

Dec 5
Position Papers
Oral Presentations

Dec 8
Position Papers,
Oral Presentations

Dec 10
Position Papers,
Oral Presentations

Final Examinations
Wednesday, December 17 at 4 P.M.

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.40.
On 25 Aug 2003, 13:18.