CM50210/CM50284 Cryptography: Coursework
Semester 2, 2019/20
• Set: 17th March.
• Weighting: 25% of the total mark for the unit.
100 word abstract — due 12pm 31st March.
1200 – 1500 word essay — due 12pm 24th April.
• Setter: James Laird
Choose a topic in current cryptographic research, and write an essay describing
recent developments in the area.
The essay should be around 1200 – 1500 words in length. The topic should
be discussed in the context of the key data security concepts that are studied
in the course, but its scope should go beyond the syllabus for the lectures as set
out in the unit description, It should include:
• an overview of the topic (e.g. context, motivations, applications, analysis).
• some relevant technical detail.
• a bibliography.
Possible areas for selecting topics include: Development of particular encryption schemes and hash functions, and theoretical research into their computational security. Cryptographic aspects of distributed ledgers (e.g. blockchain).
Identity-based or attribute-based encryption. Commitment schemes. Authenticated encryption. Homomorphic encryption. Proof of knowledge. Quantum
cryptography and cryptanalysis.
This is an individual coursework. Please take note of the university’s regulations regarding plagiarism (7.4).
The essay should demonstrate engagement with the research literature, and understanding of both practical and theoretical aspects of cryptography research,
its motivation and implementation.
Submit a short (one hundred word) description of your proposed essay via moodle by Tuesday 31st March. I will confirm its suitability, with any relevant
feedback, by 3rd April. The completed essay (in Word or pdf format) should
be submitted via moodle by 5pm Friday 24th April.
Marks for the essay will be assigned according to the following guidelines:
Third Essay has limited scope and depends mostly on secondary sources. Focusses either on practical or theoretical considerations. Shows some awareness and understanding of relevant issues, but may be unclear in some
Second (lower class) Essay summarises both theoretical and practical aspects of the topic in a clear and relevant way, showing engagement with
at least one primary source.
Second (upper class) Essay provides a comprehensive and accurate overview
of the chosen topic, successfully explaining theoretical and practical issues,
and their relationship to each other, and showing evidence of engagement
with more than one primary source.
First An in-depth examination of the selected subject, drawn from multiple
sources, which are discussed and evaluated. Clearly examines and relates
practical and theoretical considerations in detail, and shows awareness of
the broader context of the research.
Marks and feedback will be available within three weeks of the submission deadline.
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