Math 470 (Section 500) -- Spring 2006

Communications and Cryptography

Tuesday & Thursday 3:55-5:10
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Math 470 Exams

Math 470 Homework

Course Description:

This is a course in cryptography and cryptanalysis. People have been developing methods for sending and receiving secret communications for centuries, and this course will focus on modern techniques from both theoretical and practical standpoints. Topics we will conver this semester include
  • Basic number theory
  • Classical cryptosystems
  • RSA Algorithm
  • Digital signatures
  • Further applications
Time permitting we will also study basics of Information and Coding Theory and/or Quantum Algorithms.

Course Information:

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Papanikolas

Office Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs. 11-12; also by appointment.

Office: 321 Milner

Office Phone: 845-1615


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, 8-9. Additional topics will be covered as time permits.

Computational Aids: We will use MATLAB as part of the course. MATLAB is widely available on computers throughout the university. If you wish to purchase MATLAB for home use, you may consider MATLAB 7, Release 14, Student Version, which is available from The MathWorks, Please note that the student version does not contain all of the features as the full version that is available on campus computers.

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

Course Webpage:

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


Feb. 21 (Tues)

Apr. 6 (Thurs)

May 9 (Tues)


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Your final grade will be determined by the total number of points obtained on exams and homework. Out of 450 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 posted on this web page, so check back frequently!

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:

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: Assistance is available from the office of Services for Students with Disabilities, Koldus 126, 845-1637,, If you believe you have a disability requiring accomodation, you should contact this office several weeks in advance of an exam or assignment.

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