CS 127 / CSCI E-127: Cryptography

Boaz Barak

Tuesdays-Thursdays 11:30am-1:00pm, Maxwell-Dworkin G125 (ground floor)

Instructor:Boaz Barak, office hours: Tuesdays 1-2:30pm (MD 329)
Teaching Fellows:Tudor Giurgica-Tiron ( giurgicatiron (at) college (dot) harvard (dot) edu), Section schedule: TBD, office hours: TBD
Nathan Manohar (nmanohar (at) college (dot) harvard (dot) edu), Section schedule: TBD, office hours: TBD
Mark Yao - extension school TF (markyao (at) college (dot) harvard (dot) edu), Section schedule: TBD, office hours: TBD
Administrator:Kevin Doyle, 617-496-6257, Maxwell Dworkin 111A kdoyle (at) seas (dot) harvard (dot) edu
Canvas website: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/9393
(Used to submit all homeworks and quizzes.)
Piazza Website https://piazza.com/harvard/spring2016/cs127/home
(Discussion boards)

Administrative details:

The requirements for students taking this course are:

  1. Read the lecture notes before each lecture.
  2. Submit online the weekly problem set before Tuesday's lecture
  3. Do online the short "reading comprehension" quiz on the weekly reading before Thursday's lecture.
  4. Participate in class, sections, office hours, or online discussions. (You don't have to do all of these things, but the TF's and I do want to see that you're engaged in the course in some way.)
  5. Midterm and take home final.

Grading scheme

  1. Online quizzes: 10% (can be compensated for by bonus P-set questions)
  2. P-Sets: 40% (bonus points can compensate for missed points or assignments)
  3. Midterm: 15%
  4. Take home final: 25%
  5. Participation: 10%
Every problem set will have a number of points that sums up to more than 100. These bonus points can make up for missed points in the P-sets or online quizzes (as well as simply provide more challenging questions for students who enjoy them :) ). That is, if at the end of the year, there are N assignments and M quizzes, and you got a total of X points in the former and Y in the latter, then the grade component for the 50 points accounting for P-sets plus quizzes will be calculated using min(50,0.4*X/N+0.1*Y/M).

Schedule of assignments

  • On Thursdays 11:30am, the weekly problem sets are due. An exception is the first problem set which you will receive on Tuesday January 26, but only need to submit on Friday February 5th.
  • The online quiz for every week will be available for you to answer no later than Thursday, and you will need to complete it by Thursday 11:30am of the next week.

P-sets, collaboration policy, and late days

Weekly problem sets will typically be due to be submitted electronically at 11:30am on Tuesdays (i.e., before class). You are allowed 6 late days for the semester, of which at most 2 can be used on any individual problem set. (1 late day = any delay bigger than 0 and smaller than 24 hours). In case of an emergency which requires an exception to these rules, please have your resident dean (or research advisor, in the case of graduate students) contact me. There will be no late days for the online quizzes, and I will not drop the results of any problem sets, but the bonus points can make up for these.

Problem sets will be submitted electronically as PDF files via canvas. You can obtain this PDF file in any way you wish, including using Word, LaTex, or even writing down your answers and scanning them but I encourage you to write your homework as Markdown (with the extra syntax of Latex math) files. There are many ways to edit markdown files and compile them to PDF, but one simple cross-platform option is to use the web application Madoko. (Another option is to edit them via https://stackedit.io/ and either use its export to PDF option or compile the markdown file via Pandoc.) I will supply the markdown source files for all homeworks to make this easier.

Students are encouraged to discuss the course material and the homework problems with each other in small groups (of two to three people). Discussion of homework problems may include brainstorming and verbally walking through possible solutions, but should not include one person telling the others how to solve the problem. In addition, each person must write up their solutions independently, and these write-ups should not be checked against each other or passed around. When writing up your homework, you must list the names of the people you have collaborated with on this assignment.

While working on your problem sets, you may not refer to existing solutions, whether from other students, past offerings of this course, materials available on the internet, or elsewhere. All problem sets should include a collaboration statement listing all collaborators and sources of ideas other than the course materials.

Honor code

All students are expected to follow the Harvard honor code and generally behave honestly and responsibly.