Discrete Mathematics - MAST5490

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Canterbury
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Christopher Woodcock checkmark-circle

Overview

Discrete mathematics has found new applications in the encoding of information. Online banking requires the encoding of information to protect it from eavesdroppers. Digital television signals are subject to distortion by noise, so information must be encoded in a way that allows for the correction of this noise contamination. Different methods are used to encode information in these scenarios, but they are each based on results in abstract algebra. This module will provide a self-contained introduction to this general area of mathematics.
Syllabus: Modular arithmetic, polynomials and finite fields. Applications to
• orthogonal Latin squares,
• cryptography, including introduction to classical ciphers and public key ciphers such as RSA,
• "coin-tossing over a telephone",
• linear feedback shift registers and m-sequences,
• cyclic codes including Hamming,

Details

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 42
Private study hours: 108
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

80% Examination, 20% Coursework

Indicative reading

N L Biggs, Discrete Mathematics, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2002
D Welsh, Codes and Cryptography, Oxford University Press, 1988
R Hill, A First Course in Coding Theory, Oxford University Press, 1980

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 demonstrate systematic understanding of key aspects of the theory and practice of finite fields and their application to Latin squares, cryptography, m-sequences and
cyclic codes;
2 demonstrate the capability to deploy established approaches accurately to analyse and solve problems using a reasonable level of skill in calculation and manipulation of
the material in the following areas: modular arithmetic, factorising polynomials, construction of finite fields, Latin squares, classical and public key ciphers including RSA,
m-sequences and cyclic codes;
3 apply key aspects of discrete mathematics in well-defined contexts, showing judgement in the selection and application of tools and techniques.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the level 6 module students will be able to:
1 manage their own learning and make use of appropriate resources;
2 understand logical arguments, identifying the assumptions made and the conclusions drawn;
3 communicate straightforward arguments and conclusions reasonably accurately and clearly;
4 manage their time and use their organisational skills to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working;
5 solve problems relating to qualitative and quantitative information;
6 make competent use of information technology skills such online resources (Moodle), internet communication;
7 communicate technical material competently;
8 demonstrate an increased level of skill in numeracy and computation;
9 demonstrate the acquisition of the study skills needed for continuing professional development.

Notes

  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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