COMP 4109 (Winter 2010): Applied Cryptography

Instructor: Dr. Julie Thorpe
Email: jthorpe (at) (or through WebCT).
Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays 4:25-5:25pm, room 5270 HP.
Lectures: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:35-6:55pm, Tory Building 230

Official outline: Practical aspects of cryptography including pseudo-random number generation, symmetric cryptography (stream and block ciphers), modes of operation, hash functions, message and entity authentication protocols, zero knowledge, pitfalls deploying public-key encryption and digital signatures, key distribution, secret-sharing.

TA: Abdulrahman Hijazi
Email: ahijazi (at)
Office Hours: Thursdays 2-4pm, HP 1175
Questions about assignments should be addressed to the TA.

Prerequisites: COMP 3804 (algorithms)
Anti-rerequisites: COMP 4103 (old version of Cryptography and Network Security).

Course Textbooks
  1. Handbook of Applied Cryptography, Menezes, van Oorschot and Vanstone, CRC Press (1996 or later printing). The book is available for free online, but many find that using the hard-copy bound text is more convenient.
  2. (Recommended for supplementary material): A Classical Introduction to Cryptography, Serge Vaudenay, 2006 (available at the bookstore).
  3. (Recommended for supplementary material): Cryptography and Network Security, 4/e, William Stallings, 2006 (available at the bookstore).

Marking Scheme:
Student Academic Integrity Policy. Every student should be familiar with the Carleton University student academic integrity policy. A student found in violation of academic integrity standards may be awarded penalities which range from a reprimand to receiving a grade of F in the course or even being expelled from the program or University. Some examples of offences are: Plagiarism and Unauthorized Co-operation or Collaboration. The Academic Integrity Policy (Apr. 26, 2006) can be found here:
Unauthorized Co-operation or Collaboration. Senate policy states that "to ensure fairness and equity in assessment of term work, students shall not co-operate or collaborate in the completion of an academic assignment, in whole or in part, when the instructor has indicated that the assignment is to be completed on an individual basis". For this course, you may, and often should, discuss work with others, but you must write up submitted work individually, except for items explicitly advertised as group work. In addition, when students discuss work with others, they must acknowledge each other on the assignment submission.

Accomodations. Students with disabilities requiring academic accommodations in this course must register with the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) for a formal evaluation of disability-related needs. Documented disabilities include but are not limited to mobility/physical impairments, specific Learning Disabilities (LD), psychiatric/psychological disabilities, sensory disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and chronic medical conditions. Registered PMC students are required to contact the PMC every term to have a Letter of Accommodation sent to the Instructor by their Coordinator. In addition, students are expected to confirm their need for accommodation with the Instructor no later than two weeks before the first assignment is due or the first in-class test/midterm. If you require accommodations only for formally scheduled exam(s) in this course, you must request accommodations by the last official day to withdraw from classes in each term.

Detailed Course Outline. We will cover topics from the official course outline above.
A tentative outline is available here.

Last updated: January 4, 2010
For comments on this page, mail to: jthorpe (at)