Course GuidelinesMath 133 A & B
Dr. R. BeezerSpring 2006
Texts   We will be using the following texts, which are available in the Bookstore.
The Code Book, by Simon Singh
Mathematics of Cryptography, by Robert A. Beezer
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. The course web page has a variety of resources. In some cases these are necessary for working the practicums, in other cases they might be useful as you begin to consider a topic for your position paper.
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 11:00-11:50 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 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 (good times to try are 2 P.M. to 4 P.M. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and most all of Tuesday). 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 ten practical exercises in cryptology through the course. You will be provided with a written description of each on the Friday a week before they are due, and they will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Due dates are given on the schedule - they are due before the start of class on Fridays, and will not be accepted late. We will have significant time on Mondays to discuss how the practicums are to be worked, so I suggest you review them over the weekend in preparation for Monday's session. We will not be able to take class time later in the week to discuss them and I generally do not have office hours on Thursdays.
Practicums require using a variety of computer resources. These are provided in the computer lab in Thompson 120, which you will have access to. Attempting practicums on your personal machine, mis-addressing email, and off-campus travel are not excuses for a failure to complete a practicum.
Mathematics is not a spectator sport.
       - Anonymous
I hear, I forget.
I see, I remember.
I do, I understand.
       - Chinese Proverb
An education is not received. It is achieved.
       - Anonymous
Reading   We will work through Singh's The Code Book and Beezer's Mathematics of Cryptography deliberately, and dates for discussing sections of these books are listed on the schedule. Please be prepared for these discussions in advance. Generally we will cover mathematical topics on Wednesdays, with five lectures in the first few weeks, then in-class worksheets for several more weeks. Fridays will be discussions throughout almost the entire semester, with Singh being the primary topic for the first half.
We will discuss Crypto and Secrets and Lies 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 also be of some assistance as you formulate topics for your position paper. Cryptonomicon is a novel, and you will be expected to be reading it uniformly through the semester. For example, you should be one-third 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 most every Monday just where you should be in working through this book at a two-puzzle-per-week pace (excepting weeks when we have exams and presentations). Mondays will be a time to discuss each set of two puzzles. Examinations will include problems similar in spirit to the puzzles.
Discussions   You will be organized into groups for weekly email discussions. Original submissions are due by 11:59 PM Thursday each week, prior to our Friday discussions. You then have until 11:59 PM Sunday night to reply to postings by other members of your group. Conscientious efforts on Thursday postings are worth three points. Replies to others' postings are worth one point each.
You must include me as a recipient on your postings in order to receive credit. Your replies over the weekend should be a response to a single classmate's original posting and should be sent to everybody in your group, and should of course include me also. These discussions will take place on Discussion groups will be realigned after each exam, with new groups formed from individuals with similar levels of participation in prior weeks.
Postings should be thoughtful commentary or opinions on topics relevant to the course. Difficulties with practicums, how busy you are, why your boyfriend/girlfiend is mad at you, or what party you went to last night are not relevant topics. Discussions of topics described in Singh, thoughts on new mathematics, revelations from practicums or plot twists in Cryptonomicom are relevant. Your postings do not need to be excessively long, a normal-sized paragraph per point is a good guideline.
Position Paper   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 with due dates. No portion of this project will be accepted late.
Examinations   There will be three exams - see the attached sheet for tentative dates. One of these is the final exam, which will be given at 10 AM on Friday, May 12 for Section A (10:00 class) and at Noon on Wednesday, May 10 for Section B (12:00 class). The final exam cannot be given at any other time, so be certain that you do not make any travel plans that conflict.
The exams neatly divide the course into three portions. Part I is classical cryptology and the basic mathematics required for both classical and modern cryptology. Part II considers modern cryptology, since the revolutionary events of the 1970's. Part III considers the societal and public-policy issues wrought by the combination of advanced cryptology, cheap computers and ubiquitous networks.
Grades   Grades will be based on the following recipe: Discussions - 1 part; Practicums - 2 parts; Research Project - 2 parts; Exams - 3 parts. 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.
Electronic Mail   This course has many components and many small assignments. Much of the course is also about electronic communications. So we will be sending each other a lot of email. I have three addresses I will read for this course, as described in Practicum EM. Please be careful about what you send me, and where you send it. If using a non-UPS email system please identify your real name someplace (header or body of the message). In particular, do not send me attachements unless it is absolutely necessary and try to avoid sending email in HTML format.
Attendance   Daily attendance is required and expected, and is a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, I have found it necessary to track and encourage attendance. Every four absences (for any reason) will result in a grade penalty equal to reduction of 0.33 grade points (e.g. a B would become a B-), and two tardies will equal an absence. You are tardy if you are not present when I begin to check attendance.
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

Part I    Classical Cryptology
Monday Wednesday Friday

Jan 16

Jan 18
Preview EM

Jan 20
Singh, Chap 1
Practicum EM Due

Jan 23
Puzzles to p. 55
Preview STEG

Jan 25
Chap MA

Jan 27
Singh, Chap 2
Practicum STEG Due

Jan 30
Puzzles to p. 59
Preview MONO

Feb 1
Beezer, Chap B

Feb 3
Singh, Chap 3
Practicum MONO Due

Feb 6
Puzzles to p. 63
Preview VIG

Feb 8
Beezer, Chap BA, SS

Feb 10
Singh, Chap 4
Practicum VIG Due

Feb 13
Puzzles to p. 67
Preview PONT
Last day to drop

Feb 15
Beezer, Chap DL

Feb 17
Singh, Chap 5
Practicum PONT Due
Part II    Modern Cryptology

Feb 20
Exam #1
Classical Cryptology

Feb 22
Beezer, Chap NT

Feb 24
Singh, Chap 6

Feb 27
Puzzles to p. 71
Preview SDES

Mar 1
Beezer, Chap DHKE
Key Exchange Worksheet

Mar 3
Singh, Chap 7
Practicum SDES Due

Mar 6
Puzzles to p. 74
Preview PGP1

Mar 8
Beezer, Chap DHKS
Knapsack Worksheet

Mar 10
Levy, First Half
Practicum PGP1 Due
PP Proposal Due
Monday Wednesday Friday

Mar 20
Puzzles to p. 77
Preview PGP2

Mar 22
Beezer, Chap RSA
RSA Worksheet

Mar 24
Levy, Second Half
Practicum PGP2 Due

Mar 27
Puzzles to p. 81
Preview PGP3

Mar 29
Singh, Chap 8

Mar 31
Quantum Worksheet
Practicum PGP3 Due
PP Rough Draft Due
Part III    Society, Public Policy, Cryptology

Apr 3
Exam #2
Modern Cryptology

Apr 5
Policy: Free Crypto?

Apr 7
Policy: DRM

Apr 10
Puzzles to p. 85
Preview TIME

Apr 12
Policy: Patriot Act

Apr 14
Policy: NSA
Practicum TIME Due
Position Paper Due

Apr 17
Puzzles to p. 89
Preview ANON

Apr 19
Policy: Key Escrow

Apr 21
Policy: Computer Security
Practicum ANON Due

Apr 24
Position Paper

Apr 26
Position Paper

Apr 28
Position Paper

May 1
Position Paper

May 3
Position Paper
PP Letter Due

Final Examinations
Section A (10:00):    8 AM, Friday, May 12
Section B (12:00):    Noon, Wednesday, May 10

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.71.
On 03 Jan 2006, 13:06.