Math 187A: Introduction to Cryptography (Winter 2021, lecture A)

Main Lecture B Canvas Zulip Applets

This course will be closely coordinated with Alina Bucur's Math 187A course (Lecture B). You may attend either lecture. Most policies, assignments, and deadlines will be the same for both lectures. Discussion sections, office hours, and Zulip will be shared.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this course will be taught remotely and will accommodate participation from any timezone; however, all times will be announced in Pacific Standard Time (PST = UTC-8) except as indicated. You are responsible for meeting all deadlines as announced, regardless of the timezone you are in.

Lectures and discussion sections will be given synchronously, recorded, and made available for later viewing. By attending, you give permission to be recorded by the instructional staff only, not by other students. If you do not want to be recorded, please keep your audio/video muted or view the recorded lecture after it has been posted. You do not have permission to share the recordings or to record any other interactions with the instructor or TAs.

Reminder: please use Zulip private messages to communicate with course staff in place of email.

Lecture: MWF 1-1:50pm (link posted on Canvas and Zulip). No lectures on Monday, January 18 or Monday, February 15 (university holidays).

Instructor: Kiran S. Kedlaya
Office hours: W 2-3pm, F 3-4pm (links posted on Canvas and Zulip) or by appointment (via Zulip).
Note: Friday office hours will be "Ask Me Anything" sessions.

Discussion sections:

Sections takes place Mondays 4-4:50pm (B05), 5-5:50pm (A01/B01), 6-6:50pm (A02/B02), 7-7:50pm (A03/B03), 8-8:50pm (A04/B04). Attending section is not mandatory. You may attend any section, not just the one you are registered for. No sections on Monday, January 18 or Monday, February 15 (university holidays).

TAs: Poornima B Mingjie Chen Jun Bo Lau Finn McGlade Baiming Qiao
B05 A03/B03 A04/B04 A02/B02 A01/B01
OHTu 12-2pm Tu 10-11am, W 10-11am W 5-7pm, F 5-6pm Tu 8-10am W 3-4pm, F 4-5pm

Required text: none. For those who want to read more, a good reference is An Introduction to Mathematical Cryptography by Hoffstein, Pipher and Silverman. (The link provides electronic access through the UCSD Library. You will have to VPN into the UCSD network in order to gain access to it; then click the "SpringerLink" page from the library page.)

Handouts: All handouts will be posted to Canvas. This includes lecture notes, lecture recordings, and homework assignments.

Homework: There will be 4 assignments in total (due Wednesdays in weeks 2, 4, 6, 8), due at 11:59pm on the indicated date through Gradescope. Before the deadline, you may submit as many copies of your homework paper as you would like; however, only the most recent submission will be considered.
No late homework will be accepted. If you fail to submit your homework before the deadline, then you will automatically receive a zero for that assignment. The lowest homework score will be dropped; please do not contact course staff to ask for further leniency!
We strongly encourage that you type your solutions. Handwritten papers must be legible, or else your homework may not be graded. Homework grades will be available on Gradescope (and later Canvas).

Quizzes: There will be 4 quizzes of 20min each (held Wednesdays in weeks 3, 5, 7, 9), administered through Gradescope. There will be a practice quiz during week 1 to help you familiarize yourself with the process. Quizzes will be administered during the two lecture periods (11-11:50am, 1-1:50pm) and at a third time to be announced later.
During each quiz, you may use any resources (notes, books, even search engines) as long as you do not communicate with any other humans. For example, posting a question to Chegg is not permitted.
The lowest quiz score will be dropped. Handwritten papers must be legible, or else your quiz may not be graded. Quiz grades will be available on Gradescope (and later Canvas).

Final project: due F 3/19/20 at 2:30pm PDT (Daylight Saving Time begins 3/14/20). As for quizzes, you may use any resources as long as you do not communicate with any other humans. There is no final exam; disregard any information from the registrar to the contrary.

Grading: All grades are recorded on Gradescope (and later Canvas).
Only grades that appear in CanvasGradescope in week 10 will be included in calculating the total score for the course.

Since these parameters have been chosen to be somewhat forgiving, no exceptions will be granted, nor will there be an opportunity to make up missed work. This applies even if you join the course late.
Any infringement of UCSD's academic integrity or harassment policies, including cheating on a quiz/hw/project, will result in failing the class, as well as further disciplinary action. If you suspect a violation, please bring it to the attention of course staff immediately; we will also be monitoring Chegg and similar sites for suspicious activity.

There will be no curve in this class, and therefore no pressure to compete against other students. Grade cutoffs:

Percentage 97 93 90 87 83 80 77 73 70
Minimum grade A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C-

Regrade Policy:  If you believe there might be an error in the grading and wish to have your quiz/homework regraded, you must observe the following rules.

  1. Regrade requests will not be considered later than three days after the grade was originally posted. That means that you should check your scores frequently in order to not miss the reporting window.
  2. If you disagree with the TA's answer to your regrade request, you may ask for the instructor to review it. In order to do this, you must:
    • make your request within 24 hours of receiving the TA's answer, and
    • ask that they forward it to the instructor.
  3. Instructor review requests will not be considered later than one week after the grade was posted.
  4. No regrade requests will be considered after week 9, except for the final project.

Letters of recommendation:  In general, you should try to get a letter of recommendation from a professor with whom you had some one-to-one contact. I will consider recommendation requests only from people who have placed in the top 25% of the class (in the past, this meant a grade of A+) and who have had some nontrivial interaction with me outside lecture (which this quarter amounts to interacting with me during Zoom office hours). See also this page.

Communication: Most communication about the course will take place in Zulip; Zulip includes both a general discussion forum, available to all students in both Math 187A lectures, and one-on-one direct messages. A link to join Zulip will be posted to Canvas. Once you have joined, please use DMs instead of email for questions about the course; I may not answer emails. All course communication is subject to UCSD's academic integrity and harassment policies.

Electronic devices: On Zoom, please make sure your mic is muted when you don't need to speak. No visual or audio recording is allowed in class/section/office hours without prior permission of the instructor/TA and all other attendees (whether by camera, cell phone, or other means).