Final Project
CSC 233

For the final project, you will study some cryptographic subject in more depth and
write a short essay (8 pages) on it, as well as give a classroom presentation (during the
final exam slot, on 3/14). You can choose the subject from the list I handed out, or pick a subject yourself. In either case, please follow the rules below.


You will write a paper and give a final presentation. You can either work alone, or in groups of two. The timeline section details the due dates for the different stages of your work.

Paper: 8-10 pages (not counting bibliography), 1.5/double-spaced, 12pt font (like Times New Roman). Quality of writing and presentation will be a grading criterion.

Presentation: 15 minutes (without questions). Both PowerPoint or whiteboard are fine, choose your presentation aids appropriately. If you are working in a group of two, I expect both of you to give part of the presentation.

These are just the formal requirements. If you have questions about details of presentation or writing, please contact me.


Whenever you use another person's work for your paper (be it off the web, from an article, or from a book), you need to acknowledge your use, and mark it explicitly as a quotation. Even if you paraphrase another text, need to reference it. There are many different styles for preparing a bibliography, check, for example, the UTexas quick guide. For literature research, the DePaul Library offers access to many interesting databases, including worldcat (check the database resource page), and, of course, the library catalogue.


Feel free to do research to find your own topic. If you are interested in historical/technical aspects of cryptography, make sure you check out the journal Cryptologia (available online through our library, use the search box); for recent issues, with emphasis on security, check out Bruce Schneier's cryptogram. Here are some possible topics to give you ideas:


(Finishing the requirements in a timely manner, will be part of the grade.)

1. (By 2/14) Tell me which subject you have chosen: topic, with a one-paragraph description of what aspects of the topic you are going to emphasize (historical, technical, etc.).

2. (By 2/21) Submit a short proposal for your subject (about half a page). Include the following:

  1. literature that you are planning to study for the topic (this will require you to use the library resources to locate books and articles on your subject);

  2. a list of questions to which you want to find answers;

  3. a sketch of a general outline of your paper

This second stage assumes that you have started acquainting yourself with the material, without having gone into great depth yet. If availability of material is a problem, please talk to me, I can point you in the right direction.

3. (By 2/28) Submit a more detailed sketch for your presentation (10-15 minutes) and your paper. These should not be rough drafts, but outlines that give the general structure of your paper and your presentation. Each should be about a page long, and could be a structured list of keywords, main points your want to make (web-page on presentation skills).

4. (By 3/7) Submit a draft version of the paper (not the presentation).

5. (On 3/14) Submit final version of the paper, and give presentation.

Marcus Schaefer
Last updated: February 2nd, 2006.