CSC 233 Codes and Ciphers

Marcus Schaefer

Office: CDM 749
Winter 2019-2020
Class number: 22390
Section number: 501
TuTh 10:10AM - 11:40AM
CDM 00224 Loop Campus


This course is an introduction to the science and history of secret writing (cryptography) and how codes and ciphers can be broken (cryptanalysis). In historical settings we will encounter the main ideas and methods devised to secure communication channels.


Textbook: Craig P. Bauer's Secret History: The Story of Cryptology, CRC Press, 2016. (Available as an ebook through the libraries Safari subscription.)


Homework, quizzes: 40%, Midterm: 30%, Final Exam: 30%


LSP 120 or MAT 130 or CSC 241 or CSC 243


Substitution and transposition ciphers (Mary, Queen of Scots, Arab Cryptography, Vigenere cipher, Charles Babbage and the Playfair cipher)
Cracking the Enigma and the Mechanization of Cryptology
Public Key Cryptography and Security protocols

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296