- For revision purposes, the 2004 exam gives the best guide to
how this year's exam will look.
- Coursework 6 has now been marked. More than one-third of the
essays handed in were awarded a mark of zero due to blatant copying.
On your transcript of marks you will see a seventh mark, equal to the
third mark. This is so that the marks for the cipher challenge
- Solutions 5 and Coursework 6 now on the web.
- Details of how an audio CD is encoded and decoded are
available here, for anyone who is interested.
- My office hours are Monday 3.30-4.30 and Wednesday 1-2 in room G51.
Course descriptions and course information
Disclaimer and acknowledgement
This web-page and the notes etc. for the course closely follow
Peter Cameron's originals which he has very kindly allowed me to use.
His pages may still be accessible
2: Substitution ciphers
3: Stream ciphers
4: Stream ciphers, continued
5: Stream ciphers, concluded
6: Public-key cryptography
7: Public-key cryptography: RSA
8: Public-key cryptography: Primes and
9: Public-key cryptography: El-Gamal
10: Public-key cryptography: Other ciphers
11: Secret sharing and other matters
12: Quantum effects; bibliography
The recommended book for reading before taking the course is Simon
The Code Book; the recommended course text is Paul Garrett's
Making, Breaking Codes. (See below for bibliographical details.)
I have been asked to draw your attention to a possible answer to the
question "What to do next?". The National University of Ireland, Galway
do an M.Sc. in Communication Systems: you can find details
is the list of ASCII 7-bit codes, and here are
the International Telegraph Codes.
are three samples of random text matching
the letter, digram and trigram frequencies in a piece of English text
(Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland).
"FISH and I" by W. T. Tutte (one of the Bletchley Park codebreakers).
web page about the recent proof by Manindra Agrawal, Neeraj Kayal and
Saxena that primality can be tested in polynomial time.
- Here is the
College Historical Cryptography website.
- Here is a
of Maple lessons on topics in cryptography from Adept Scientific, which
be downloaded free of charge.
are some lecture notes on computational complexity.
- Here is the full text
of Gadsby, by Ernest Vincent Wright (a novel which doesn't
contain the letter E).
John Preskill's Caltech notes on quantum computing.
- Henry Beker and Fred Piper, Cipher Systems: The
Protection of Communications, Northwood Books, London, 1982.
- Robert Churchhouse, Codes and Ciphers: Julius Caesar,
the Enigma, and the Internet, Cambridge University Press,
- Paul Garrett, Making, Breaking Codes: An Introduction to
Cryptology, Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, 2001.
- Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Secret History of Codes
and Code-Breaking, Fourth Estate, London, 1999.
- Douglas R. Stinson, Cryptography: Theory and Practice
(2nd edition), Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, 2002.
- Dominic Welsh, Codes and Cryptography, Oxford
University Press, Oxford, 1988.
- Helen Fouché Gaines, Cryptanalysis: A Study of
Ciphers and their Solution, Dover Publ. (reprint), New York, 1956.
- F. H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp (eds.), Code Breakers: The
Inside Story of Bletchley Park, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
- Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma, Vintage,
- Leo Marks, Between Silk and Cyanide: The Story of SOE's
Code War, HarperCollins, London, 1998.
- Doron Swade, The Cogwheel Brain: Charles Babbage and the
Quest to Build the First Computer, Little, Brown & Co., London,
- Gordon Welchman, The Hut Six Story: Breaking the Enigma
Codes, M & M Baldwin, Cleobury Mortimer, 1998.
- Peter Wright, Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a
Senior Intelligence Officer, Stoddart Publ. Co., Toronto, 1987.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Dancing Men, in
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Penguin (reprint), London,
- Edgar Allan Poe, The Gold-Bug, in Complete Tales and
Poems, Castle Books, Edison, NJ, 1985.
- Dorothy L. Sayers, Have His Carcase, Victor
Gollancz, London, 1932.
- Related topics:
- Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law, BBC
publications, London, 1965.
- M. R. Garey and D. S. Johnson, Computers and
Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness, Freeman,
San Francisco, 1979.
- Ray Hill, A First Course in Coding Theory, Oxford
University Press, Oxford, 1986.
- Michael A. Nielsen and Isaac L. Chuang, Quantum
Information and Quantum Computation, Cambridge University Press,
- G. Mander (ed.), wot txters hav bin w8ing 4,
Michael O'Mara Books, London, 2000.
- Georges Perec (translated by Gilbert Adair), A Void,
Harvill Press, 1994.
- Ernest Vincent Wright, Gadsby, Wetzel Publishing
Co., Los Angeles, 1931.
Robert A. Wilson
(based on Peter Cameron's original page)
Created 5 January 2005
Updated 29 April 2005