Codes and Ciphers
CSC 233 (501)

Marcus Schaefer

Latest additions

Homeworks and Examples

Assignments will be available through this webpage. Written homework is due at the beginning of class. If you hand in the homework late 10% will be taken off the score for each day.



Notes, etc.

Questions and Answers


Classes and office hours

The class meets MW 11:50-1:20 in CS&T 206.
My office hours are M 3:10-4:40 and W 10:10-11:40. 

During that time you can find me in the CS&T building, room 749.
If you want to set up an appointment at another time, or simply ask a question, 
send email to


As textbook we will use Simon Singh's The Code Book, Anchor 2000 (pb), or Doubleday, 1999 (hc).


For general information, see the official class syllabus.
The following is a very rough schedule, and we might depart from it.

Week 1-4

Substitution and transposition ciphers (Mary, Queen of Scots, Arab Cryptography, Vigenere cipher, Charles Babbage and the Playfair cipher)

Week 5-6

Cracking the Enigma (Alan Turing in Bletchley Park)

Week 7

Cryptanalysis and languages (Linear A/B, Rosetta Stone)

Week 8-9

Public Key Cryptography and Security protocols

Week 10

Quantum Cryptography

Grades and exams

Midterm will take place in class on Monday, 2/11.

Homework, quizzes: 40%, Midterm: 30%, Final project: 30%.

Active participation in this class is expected, you are responsible for any material you missed.

I will use the following grading scheme:

Grade Percentage
A 95-100
A- 90-95
B+ 87-90
B 83-87
B- 80-83
C+ 77-80
C 73-77
C- 70-73
D+ 65-70
D 60-65
F <60

Throughout the quarter there will be extra credit problems; extra credit does not directly make up for points lost on homeworks or exams; instead it is added in with a weight at the end to adjust grades upwards.


Liberal Studies

CSC 233 is approved for credit in the Scientific Inquiry Domain under the Elective area. Courses in the Scientific Inquiry Domain are designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn the methods of modern science and its impact in understanding the world around us. Courses in this domain are designed to help students develop a more complete perspective about science and the scientific process, including:

General Policies

Academic Honesty


An incomplete grade is given only for an exceptional reason such as a death in the family, a serious illness, etc. Any such reason must be documented. Any incomplete request must be made at least two weeks before the final, and approved by the Dean of the School of Computer Science, Telecommunications and Information Systems. Any consequences resulting from a poor grade for the course will not be considered as valid reasons for such a request.

Marcus Schaefer
Last updated: December 6th, 2007.