Math 470 (Sections 200,501, 502) -- Spring 2018

Communications and Cryptography

lectures:  501&200: TR 2:20-3:35  BLOC 149,
                502: TR 12:45-2:00 BLOC 149

Course Description:

Introduction to coded communications, digital signatures, secret sharing, one-way functions, authentication, error control and data compression.

Course Information:

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Young

Office Hours: Tuesday 9-11, Thursday 345-445

Office: Blocker 641G


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.

A supplementary textbook is An Introduction to Mathematical Cryptography, 2008 edition, by Hoffstein, Pipher, and Silverman.  This book may be accessed for free through SpringerLink.

See here for more information

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 304 or MATH 309 or MATH 311 or MATH 323; CSCE 110 or CSCE 111 or CSCE 121 or CSCE 206 or ENGR 112; approval of instructor.

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


Tuesday, February 13

Tuesday, March 27

501,200: Tuesday, May 8, 1:00-3:00
502: Tuesday, May 8, 8:00-10:00


In class

In class



Your final grade will be determined by the total number of points obtained on exams and homework. 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 to your email address.

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 Disability Services, currently located in the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call
979-845-1637. For additional information, visit

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 or to correct potential errors in homework problem sets).  Students should regularly check their TAMU e-mail accounts.

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