CMU 15-827

Security and Cryptography

Fall 1998


Course Information



Handout 1

14 September 1998

  1. Administrative Staff
  2. Professor Jeannette Wing, x8-3068, WeH 8219,
    Heather Marko (secretary), x8-2568, WeH 8120,

    Heather will keep extra copies of handouts.

  3. Schedule
  4. Date Lecture Topic Homework,Project
    9/14 1 Cryptography: introduction, symmetric-key cryptography HW 1 out
    9/21 2 Public-key cryptography, digital signatures, applications of PKC  
    9/28 3 Authentication: introduction, protocols, design principles HW 1 due, HW 2 out
    10/5 4 Logics and models for reasoning about authentication  
    10/9 5 (F) Limitations of cryptography (guest lecturer: Prof. Rudich)  
    10/12 6 No Class (mid-semester break), hand in homework to my office HW 2 due, HW 3 out
    10/19 7 Tools for reasoning about authentication  
    10/26 7 Electronic commerce: introduction, protocols  
    11/2 8 Electronic voting, electronic auctions HW 3 due, HW 4 out,and Project proposal due
    11/9 9 Digital watermarking. Legal and ethical issues. Project final approval
    11/16 10 (1-3) Systems-level issues. Infrastructure issues. HW 4 due
    11/23 11 Language issues: SFI, PCC, Java. Policy issues. Research challenges.  
    11/30 12 Project presentations Project orals and demos
    12/2 W   Project written reports due

    The class meets 1:00-3:20 p.m. on Mondays in WeH 4601. Bring a sweater! There are two irregularities in the schedule. First, since we meet so few times I scheduled a Friday class for the week before the University’s mid-semester break. We are fortunate to have a guest lecturer, Prof. Steven Rudich, to speak to us that day. Second, we meet till only 3:00 on November 16th.

  5. Textbooks
  6. The required textbook for the course is

    Other textbooks which you may find useful for background or supplementary information are

  7. Course Communication
  8. URL (pending)
    E-mail all students, Heather Marko, and me)
    Bboard cmu.cs.class.cs827

    Please feel free to send me e-mail, call me, or stop by my office at any time. I welcome questions, comments, and criticism of all kinds.

  9. Grading
  10. Students taking this class for credit are responsible for attending and participating in class (10%), doing all four homeworks (40%), helping to grade and devise model solutions (10%, see Homeworks below), and doing a term project (35%) that has written, oral, and (possible) demonstration components. The remaining 5% of the grade is credit subject to the instructor’s discretion.

    Students auditing this class are responsible for attending and participating, are encouraged (but not required) to do a project, and do not have to do the homeworks.

    Attendance is mandatory for all, especially since we meet only once a week.

  11. Homeworks
  12. You will get two or three weeks to do each homework (see the schedule on p. 1). You may discuss homework problems and solutions with each other but you must hand in individually written assignments. You must indicate the names of those with whom you worked on what you hand in.

    Since there is no TA I will be asking you to help me and each other out with grading. For each assignment I will ask for a group of volunteers to help grade and come up with a model solution set. First I will look over all the homeworks and then I will work with the volunteers to come up with good solutions (there may be more than one) to the questions, perhaps using (with permission) a student’s answer. The volunteers will also help me grade all the homeworks. The reason I’m involving students in the grading process is not only to help me but to ensure that everyone has as much feedback as possible on their homeworks in a timely manner. Each student must volunteer to help grade and come up with a model solution set at least once during the term.

    If your answer does get chosen to be on any of the model solutions, you will get extra credit.

  13. Project
  14. You may choose to work on the term project by yourself on in a group. My preference is that you work in groups of at least two and no more than four. (I can also imagine two groups teaming up to create a larger demonstration system—that would be fine too but I leave all coordination and organization to you.) The larger the group the more ambitious the project I expect. The project grade will depend on the nature of the project, how well it is done, and how large your group is. Here are some examples of the kinds of projects you may choose to do:

    You or your group should feel free to come up with your own ideas for a project. You (or your group) must submit a project proposal that gets my final approval. The project has two, possibly three, components: written, oral, and demonstration. You should aim to have your written document meet the standards of a workshop or conference submission. I plan to bundle all documents into a technical report for the course. Only well-written documents will be included in this technical report. The oral component will be short. Depending on how many projects there are, the last day of class will be devoted to short oral presentations. If your project has a demonstration component (e.g., running a secure election or explaining the application of a tool), you should plan to include it in your oral presentation. If there are a lot of projects then I might have to structure the last day as a poster session or schedule additional class time.

    Here are dates relevant to the project:

    November 2    Project proposals due.
    November 4    Project proposal feedback, with possible iteration.
    November 9    Final project approval.
    November 30  Oral and demo of project in class.
    December 2    Written component of project due. Yes, this is a Wednesday.

    You may choose to do your project proposal and get final approval from me much earlier than November 2—as early as you wish—in case you want to get a head start on your project and not leave it for the end of the term.

  15. Policy on Lateness
  16. Homeworks must be handed in by 5:00 p.m. of the due date. Any homework handed in late will get marked down by the equivalent of one letter grade for each day it is late. If I’m not in my office, you may hand your homework to my secretary.

    It is especially critical that you get me the written component part of your project by 5:00 p.m. December 2 because I will be taking them with me to read on an extended overseas trip, leaving the next day. Under no circumstances will I accept any late projects because of my tight travel schedule in early December. Thank you in advance for your understanding!

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Heather L. Marko
Last Modified: September 1998