Linguistics 496
Language and Codes Syllabus
Course Description 
Goals 
This course explores the relationship of cryptography  the mathematics of hiding information  with codes, the best human invention for transmitting it. 

Practice 
The required text is Decrypting Cryptography. Most assigned readings are from there. There is also some course software available from the course website. Use of the software is never required to complete assignments or exams, but it should help make some of the course concepts clearer. Readings, homework, discussion, midterm, term paper. 
Concepts 
Language, linguistic levels, ciphers, monoalphabetic and polyalphabetic ciphers, ciphers in other writing systems, codes, keys, public key cryptography, RSA protocol, group theory, modular arithmetic. Zeroknowledge proofs. Digital cash. Language as a code. Informationhiding and linguistic levels. Grammars as the keys to language codes. 
Office Hours 
Tu Th 4:005:30, BAM 321 
Weekly Syllabus 
WEEK ONE Sep 8 
Readings 
Chapter 1, Cryptography Decrypted. Privacy, Information and Anonymity in the Information Age. Basic concepts of informationhiding. Lecture. Ciphers. Transposition ciphers (Caesar's cipher). Encoding and encipherment. Modular arithmetic, first appearance. Lecture. 


Assignment 
NO assignment.


WEEK TWO Sep 15 
Readings 
Chapters 2, Cryptography Decrypted. Affine ciphers. A little more modular arithmetic. Lecture. General substitution ciphers. The concept of a key. 

Assignment  
WEEK THREE Sep 22 
Readings 
Chapters 3, Cryptography Decrypted. Discussing affine cipher problem: The concept of an inverse. The concept of a valid cipher system. Vigenere's Cipher. Lecture. Hill's cipher. Polyalphabetic vs monoalphabetic cipher. Transposition ciphers. 

Assignment 
Vigenere assignment. Hill cipher decoding problem. 

WEEK FOUR Sep 29 
Readings 
Decryption workbook (includes directions for using computational tools). Chapters 4,5. Cryptography. Breaking a cipher. Breaking substitution ciphers. Data Encryption Standard (DES). 

Assignment 
Decoding problem. Crack the secret cipher! 

WEEK FIVE Oct 6 
Readings 
Discussion of decoding problem. Decoding Vigenere's cipher. Ciphers in other writing systems. A Japanese cipher. Lecture. 

Assignment 
Hiragana and Code difficulty assignment.


WEEK SIX Oct 11 
Readings 
No readings. Language as a code. Decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Linear B. Lecture Claude Shannon's Machine Translation memo. 

Assignment  
WEEK SEVEN Oct 18 
Readings 
Chapters 7, 8 Cryptography Decrypted. Oneway functions. Honest games. Verification and authentication. Nonrepudiation. Lecture and reading. 

Assignment 
(a) Cheating at honest games. (b) Defeating public key cryptography. (c) Forging digital signatures.


WEEK EIGHT Oct 25 
Readings 
Chapters 9, 10, 11 Cryptography Decrypted. Public Key Cryptography Diffie Hellman. Modular arithmetic: powers and roots. Inverses. A simple symmetric key code. Euclid's algorithm: a way of finding inverses. 

Assignment 
Chapter 3, Section 1Groups, Modular Arithmetic, and Cryptography. 

WEEK NINE Nov 1 
Readings 
An example of groups. (pdf, ps). Appendix A, Cryptography Decrypted. Chapter 12, Cryptography Decrypted. RSA. The math. The advantages. 

Assignment  
WEEK TEN Nov 8 
Readings 
Chapter 2, 3.2, Groups, Modular Arithmetic, and Cryptography. 

Assignment 
Assignment for Thursday, November 10: Groups and Modular arithmetic. 

WEEK ELEVEN Nov 15 
Readings 
Chapter 2, 3.2, Groups, Modular Arithmetic, and Cryptography. Part II: The theorem of La Grange. Fermat's little theorem. Euler's theorem. 

Assignment 
Group theory problems. Are Sudoku squares groups? Modular arithmetic groups under addition and multiplication. 

WEEK TWELVE Nov 22 
Readings 
Zeroknowledge proof. Lecture. Digital cash: The concept. Digital cash: the protocol. Lecture. 

Assignment  
WEEK THIRTEEN Nov 29 
Readings 
Consequences. Cyberpunks and public anonymity. CryptoAnarchy and Virtual Communities. Tim May. Lecture/outline for CryptoAnarchy and Virtual Communities. Happy Thanksgiving. 

Assignment 
Describe how a hit man might set up shop using (a) an internet bulletin board that anyone can post publicly viewable messages to; (b) RSA cryptography; (c) digital cash. What's the bug? Why isn't this a huge social problem? 

WEEK FOURRTEEN Dec 6 
Readings 
Language as code. The multilayered structure of language. Grammar as key. 

Assignment 
TBA. 

WEEK FIFTEEN Dec 13 
Readings  
Assignment 
Place and Time 
TuTh 11001215 Room: NE172
Contact 
Mailing address:
Department of Linguistics and Oriental Languages
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 921827727
Telephone: (619) 5940252
Office location: BAM, room 321
Office Hours: Tu Th 4:005:30