Math 470 (Section 502) -- Fall 2010

Communications and Cryptography

Tuesday & Thursday 2:20-3:35
BLOC 117


Course Description:

This is a course in cryptography.   Topics we will cover this semester include
  • Basic number theory
  • Classical cryptosystems
  • RSA Algorithm
  • Discrete logarithms
  • Hash functions
  • Digital signatures
  • Further applications

Course Information:

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Young

Office Hours: Monday 10:00-12:00; Thursday 3:40-4:40; also by appointment.

Office Phone:


Office: 225 Milner

E-mail: myoung (at) math dot tamu d0t edu

Textbook: The required textbook is Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 2nd Ed., by Wade Trappe and Lawrence C. Washington, Prentice Hall, 2006, ISBN 0-13-186239-1.

Course Syllabus: The course covers most of chapters 1-3, 6-9. Additional topics will be covered as time permits.

Computational Aids: Students will be required to perform basic algebraic computations with rather large numbers.  Students can use their choice of computer algebra system. PARI is a free program that specializes in number-theoretic calculations.

Prerequisites: Math 222 or Math 304 (Linear Algebra). The course will, however, be mostly self-contained.

Course Webpage: /~myoung/classes/470fall2010.html

Exam Schedule:

There will be 2 in-class exams during the semester, as well as a cumulative final exam. The dates and times are listed below.

Exam 1

Exam 2

Final Exam


Thursday, September 30

Thursday, November 4

December 15, Wednesday, 1-3PM


Your final grade will be determined by the total number of points obtained on exams and homework. Out of 700 total points, each component contributes to your grade as follows:





Exam 1


Exam 2


Final Exam


The following grade distribution will be used in determining final course grades:


Percentage of Total Points












Homework will be collected once per week for a grade. Homework assignments will be sent via email so check your neo account regularly.

Course Policies:

Missed Work: Making up missed work (including missed exams, quizzes, and homework) will be arranged according to University policies only. A university approved excuse must be provided to the instructor in writing (e-mail is sufficient) within 1 working day for exams and within 2 working days for other work.

Academic Dishonesty:

“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.”

It is not permissible to hand in the work of others for a grade, including work on exams, quizzes, and homework. You are allowed to discuss homework with others, but your write-ups are expected to be done on your own and in your own words. Copying the work of others will be prosecuted to the full extent possible under University policies.

Cheating during an exam will be sanctioned by assigning 0 points on the exam. Further action will be taken in agreement with Texas A&M University Student Rules on Academic Honesty and the Aggie Honor System Code.

Disability Assistance:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Department of Student Life, Disability Services Office, in Room B118 of Cain Hall or call 845-1637. Their website is If you believe you have a disability requiring accomodation, you should contact this office several weeks in advance of an exam or assignment.

Copyright information: All printed handouts and web-materials are protected by US Copyright Laws. No multiple copies can be made without written permission by the instructor.

Contact information: Course announcements may occasionally be made via e-mail (e.g. in case of a change to office hours).  Students should regularly check their neo e-mail accounts.

Page maintained by Matt Young, Dept. of Mathematics, Texas A&M University.