**instructor:** me

**goals:** we will study cryptography and coding theory with an
aim of learning some aspects of modern algebra and number theory and their
practical applications, as well as gaining some basic programming skills.

**text:**
*the mathematics
of encryption: an elementary introduction*, by margaret cozzens and steven j miller

note (1): you have online access this text through the ou libraries

note (2): this text will be supplemented with other material

**prerequisites:** i expect everyone to be familiar with
reading and writing proofs, as well as some basic linear algebra
(e.g., as in our math 2513 and math 3333 courses).

**class participation:** class participation (e.g., asking questions)
is highly encouraged. while attendance is not taken, not all material in
class will be in the text.

**computer labs:** usually, friday classes will be used
as "computer lab" periods, and you are encouraged to bring a laptop or
other device suitable for programming on fridays. in the
event that we use a different day of the week for a computer lab,
this will be announced in advance in class.

we will use python 3 in this class. you are not expected to have any programming experience in advance, though of course any such experience will be helpful.

**homework:** there will be homework to turn in.
this homework will include both written exercises and "lab homework"
based off of the computer labs. the assignments will usually be posted
on the course webpage about a week in advance.
expect roughly 1 homework every 1-2 weeks.
while you may discuss the problems with other students, you must write up
(written and programming) solutions on your own. (do not copy.)
you may turn 1 homework late (but within 1 week of the scheduled due
date, and also not later than the last day of class) without penalty.
in exceptional
circumstances, i may grant additional extensions--if you need one talk to me.

**exams:** there will be 1 in-class midterm exam (**tentatively,
fri mar 13**) and 1
final exam (**th may 7, 8am**).
more info about the exams will be posted on the course website later in the
semester.
make-up exams are only given in exceptional circumstances
at the instructor's discretion.

**project (5383):** only for students enrolled in 5383, there will be
a project due towards the end of the semester, which consists of a
written report and an in-class presentation. more details will be
announced in class and posted on the course webpage later in the
semester.

**grades:**
at the end of the semester, i'm required to give you some grades. these
will represent an approximation of my assessment of your understanding
of the material and your effort in the course. the grades are weighted as
follows:

(for students in 4383)

40% homework

20% midterm exam

40% final exam

(for students in 5383)

30% homework

10% midterm exam

30% final exam

30% project

based on the above grade composition, you will get a raw numerical average for the course. raw numerical scores will be assigned to preliminary letter grade according to a code determined at the end of the semester (i.e., a "curve"). e.g., the cutoff between and A and B might be 88% (it will not be higher than 90%, and each letter grade range will be at least 10%), but this will depend on the final distribution of numerical scores. (in general, i try to look for natural breaks in student grades and then make letter grade cutoffs in between, though this is not always possible.) if your numerical score is slightly below a letter grade cutoff, i will look at other factors (effort, improvement) and take another look at your final exam and/or project to consider "rounding you up" to the next letter grade.

to get a sense of how you are doing in the class, i will give you projected letter grades around the time of midterm exam. if you have questions about your performance or grade during the semester, please feel free to see me.

**elevator policy:**
if one of the tower elevators is inoperative, class may start a few minutes
late. if both of the tower elevators are inoperative, class may not start.

**final remark:** if you have a question about course policies or
expectations, just ask.

oh, also there's some stuff my bosses make me say

course home