COMP 4109 (Winter 2004): Applied Cryptography

Last updated: March 24, 2004, 10:30am

Official outline: Practical aspects of cryptography including pseudo-random number generation, symmetric cryptography (stream and block ciphers), modes of operation, hash functions, message and entity authentication protocols, zero knowledge, pitfalls deploying public-key encryption and digital signatures, key distribution, secret-sharing.
Essential Course Details
TA and Office Hours (also check here for exceptions):
TA: Hong Shen (email: hshen_1998 (at), 1-4pm Friday, room 1175 Herzberg (tunnel level)
Questions about assignments should be addressed to the TA.
Prof. Van Oorschot: Mon. and Wed. 1:30-2:30pm (cancelled Feb.2 & 4).
Prof. Somayaji: Tues. 3:00-4:30pm, Wed. 4:00-5:30pm

Marking Scheme:
Assignments are due at start of class.
20% - Assignments, 5 total (penalty for late assignments: 25% per day late)
Individual Assignnments (click here).
30% - Term test (in class - date to be confirmed, tentatively March 1 2004)
50% - Exam (to be scheduled by registrar during exam period)

Policy re: Unethical Behaviour. Any student submitting work including portions originating from someone else, without crediting the original source, is subject to a mark of minus 100% (-100%) on the entire work item. For example, if an assignment is worth 5%, the 5% is lost plus an additional 5% penalty. If the infraction involves copying from another student, then both students may be penalized. You may, and often should, discuss work with others, but you must write up submitted work individually, except for items explicitly advertised as group work. In addition to the above, harsher penalties following from any standard university policies will be pursued where appropriate.

Special Needs Students. Students with disabilities requiring academic accommodations in this course are encouraged to contact a coordinator at the Paul Menton Centre (PMC) for Students with Disabilities to complete the necessary lettters of accommodation. After registering with the PMC, make an appointment to meet and discuss your needs with the instructor at least two weeks prior to the first in-class test or midterm exam, to ensure sufficient time for necessary arrangements. The deadline for submitting completed forms to the PMC for formally scheduled exam accommodations is usually about one month prior to the start of the exam period (please check the official sources for this date).

Detailed Course Outline. We will cover topics from the official course outline above.
Click here for updates as the course progresses.

References and Sources. Students are advised to obtain a copy of the course text (see above), from which we will largely be drawing material. It should be available in the university bookstore (or try your favourite online bookstore). The book is also available free online (see hyperlink above), but most find that using the hard-copy bound text itself is far more convenient. You may also find the list of Reference Books (click here) of interest for supplemental reading.

For comments on this page, mail to: vanoorschot at