MATH324-12S2 (C) Semester Two 2012

Cryptography and Coding Theory

15 points, 0.1250 EFTS
09 Jul 2012 - 11 Nov 2012


This course deals with the mathematical ideas underlying modern cryptography, including algebra, number theory and probability theory.

Cryptography is the science of making and breaking secret codes: encryption is what keeps our credit card details safe when we send them over the internet. We will study the mathematics behind some of the main encryption systems in current use. Coding theory comprises a second half of the course. It provides the theory and methods for coding information so that it can be transmitted over a noisy channel and be accurately decoded by the receiver. Cryptography and coding theory draw on ideas from algebra, geometry, number theory and probability theory. The course is aimed at students majoring in computer science or mathematics. It follows on from MATH220  (Discrete Mathematics and Cryptography); it is good preparation for or a good complement  to COSC332 (Data and Network Security), COSC413 (Advanced Topics in Algorithms) and  COSC436 (Security Fundamentals). Students who do not have the appropriate background in cryptography but who wish to enroll in the course should contact the course coordinator in order to discuss their eligibility.

Learning Outcomes

to become familiar with the mathematics behind some of the main encryption systems currently in use

  • to develop the necessary mathematical skills to analyse the efficiency and security of cryptosystems in a rigorous mathematical setting
  • to understand the principles and theory of error-correcting codes, and the various methods for constructing them
  • to understand important ideas from classical number theory, algebra, geometry and probability theory
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:


(MATH220 or MATH221) and a further 15 points from MATH201-294


Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Monday 1:00pm-2:00pm E16 Lecture Theatre 3 Sep - 14 Oct
Thursday 5:00pm-6:00pm E16 Lecture Theatre 3 Sep - 14 Oct

Streams Day Time Where Notes
Stream 01 Thursday 10:00am-11:00am Erskine 101 (Examples Class) 9 Jul - 15 Jul,
23 Jul - 29 Jul,
6 Aug - 12 Aug,
3 Sep - 9 Sep,
17 Sep - 23 Sep,
1 Oct - 7 Oct
10:00am-11:00am Erskine 101 16 Jul - 22 Jul,
30 Jul - 5 Aug,
13 Aug - 19 Aug,
10 Sep - 16 Sep,
24 Sep - 30 Sep,
8 Oct - 14 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Mike Steel


Jeanette McLeod


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Internal Assessment - TBA 50%
Final Examination 50%

Examination and Formal Tests

Exam Tuesday 30 Oct 2012 9:30am-11:30am  
Test Monday 03 Sep 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre


Recommended Reading:

Johannes Buchmann: Introduction to Cryptography, 2nd edition, Springer-Verlag, 2004.

The cryptography section of the course is based mainly on material from Buchmann;
copies of Buchmann will be held on reserve in the Engineering & Physical Sciences

Course links

MATH324 Homepage

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $622.00

International fee $3,200.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 15 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Mathematics and Statistics.

All MATH324 Occurrences

  • MATH324-12S2 (C) Semester Two 2012