COMP 754 - Course Information


Our course will meet TR 10-12 in CSB 204 starting 27 June 2002. Please do not miss lectures and, when you are in class, try to think!

Office Hours

You may come to find me in my office at any time. My office is on the first floor, second row. You don't have to come during office hours; I am happy to see my students at any time.

On-line Information

Most everything will be collected on-line. Go to my homepage at and follow the classes link to our course web page.


I expect to lecture on some or all of the following topics: introduction - block ciphers - symmetric encryption - pseudorandom permutations and pseudorandom functions - one-way functions - pseudorandom generators - hash functions - message authentication - authenticated encryption - asymmetric encryption - digital signatures - authenticated key exchange - interactive proofs and zero knowledge - security models - popular network-security protocols. The course material I select will depend on the students' abilities and interests. It is possible I will shift the emphasis more to computer security than the above list of topics suggests.


There is no assigned text and no reasonable text is available for the material of this course. I will prepare some lecture notes and put everything on the web: my notes and any relevant papers that you might want to look at.

If you're interested to have a book the most useful one may be that of [Menezes, van Oorschot, Vanstone], which is available on-line, for free. There is also a new book by [Goldreich] which give a much more scientific treatment of the subject, but the scope is very limited and the treatment will be quite different from ours.


Homeworks will be due one week after: I give out the assignment or cover the material, whichever comes last). In the past I had a problem here with students turning in late homeworks and so this year I have decided that I will not accept any late homework.

You may work in groups of 1, 2, 3, or 4 on your homework but each group must turn in one writeup. I do not want to see substantially identical writeups from different groups!


You must read a paper related to the material we have covered in the class and then give a 15 minute presentation. You should prepare slides for this presentation. This presentation will be during the last 3 classes. I must approve the paper that you choose to present. I will give you a number of on-line sources, such as the papers of Mihir Bellare or Ron Rivest or Phil Rogaway or David Wagner.


Classroom attendance and participation: 15%. Oral presentation of paper you read: 20%. Homeworks: 25%. Final: 40%
Phil Rogaway's homepage