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Core Lecture in Summer Term 2008

Teaching Assitants
Fabienne Eigner
Robert Kühnemann
Kim Pecina
Stefan Schuh
Lecture Time
Tue/Fri 10-12
E2.2 (new lecture hall building)

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This course is an introduction to Modern Cryptography. It will introduce cryptography from scratch, i.e., no previous knowledge in cryptography or computer security is required. The list of topics comprises:
Most of these topics are covered by the following books, both are available in the computer science or math library (The terminology of the course will be closer to Stinson's, thus making this book the better choice if you intend to buy a new one).


This course is a core theory lecture. Basic knowledge in computability, complexity theory, and number theory is useful, but not utterly necessary, as it can be acquired during the course.


The following times for tutorials are available:
Why are all tutorials at the same day? See the section on quizzes below.

Michael Backes will be available for your questions on Tuesday, 13:00 - 14:00 in building E1.1, room U15.

Oana Ciobotaru will be available for your questions on Tuesday, 15:00 - 16:00 in building E1.1, room U13.

The tutors will be available for your questions at the following times in building E1.1, room U21:


Weekly homework exercises will be handed out in class and posted to the course page each Tuesday, after the lecture. Their solutions will be posted one week later. No homeworks have to be submitted, but you are encouraged to ask any question you might have concerning the course in the office hours. Homework exercises will thus not influence your grade, however, by presenting solutions in the tutorials you may gain a better grading in the quiz, see below.

Weekly Quiz

Each tutorial starts with a short (approx. 15 minutes) quiz covering the topics of the same two lectures that were addressed in the last homework exercise. Your overall quiz-grade is determined by dropping the quiz with the lowest grading, and calculating the average of the remaining quizzes.

You can further improve your quiz-grade by presenting solutions of the homework exercises in the tutorials. For each correct solution you presented you may drop one additional quiz, up to a maximum of two additional quizzes, i.e., at most three quizzes may be dropped. Please be aware that there is a limited number of exercises, and if more than one student opts for one particular solution, a random student will be drawn. So start early enough!

Quizzes will affect your final grading by 30%, and you need an overall quiz-grading of at least 50% to pass the course.


There will be two mandatory exams: A mid-term exam, and a final exam.

The mid-term exam will be approx. one hour and consist of multiple-choice and simple questions intended to test your basic understanding of the course material covered so far. Your mid-term grade will affect your final grading by 20%, however, there is no lower bound that has to be reached in order to pass the course.

The final exam will be a written test of two hours. It will make up 50% of your final grade, you need at least 50% to pass the course.

Grading & Requirements for Passing the Course

Let Q be your quiz score, M your score in the mid-term exam, and E your score in the final exam, each in percent. Then your final overall score Final is calculated as
Final = 0.3*Q + 0.2*M + 0.5*E,
you pass the course if
Q ≥50% and E≥50% and Final≥50%.

Q: I got only 49% in the quizzes, but 100% in both exams, will I pass?
A: No, you need 50% in your quizzes to pass.

Q: I got only 49% in the final exam, but 100% in the quizzes and the mid-term exam, will I pass?
A: No, you need 50% in your final exam to pass.

Q: I got only 30% in the mid-term exam, but 100% in final exam and in the quizzes, will I pass?
A: Yes, there is no minimum requirement on the mid-term exam. However, of course, you need a final score of 50% to pass.

Backup Exams

Date and time of the backup exam is October 14, from 10:00 to 12:00 (s.t). You may take part in the backup exam if you qualified for the final exam, i.e., you got at least 50% score in the quizzes.

The backup exam will be written. Please note that if you have passed the final exam and also take the backup exam, the better score between the two will count for your final grade.

Further Reading