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Cryptography, autumn 2008, TDA351

Status: Avslutad
Öppen för svar: 2008-12-15 - 2009-01-10
Antal svar: 67
Procent av deltagarna som svarat: 47%
Kontaktperson: Björn von Sydow»

Your own effort

1. How many hours per week did you spend on this course?

We mean total time, that is, it comprises the time you spent in class and the time you spent on your own work. Try to estimate the average time over the entire study period.

67 svarande

At most 15 hours/week»24 35%
Around 20 hours/week»26 38%
Around 25 hours/week»10 14%
Around 30 hours/week»2 2%
At least 35 hours/week»5 7%

Genomsnitt: 2.07

- 15 hours is still much too high» (At most 15 hours/week)
- I had many problems. I couldn"t consentrate on my study. I did as much as I could.» (At most 15 hours/week)
- If you do not include reading IACR reports and other books about cryptography for fun, I have only spent 15-20hrs/week.» (At least 35 hours/week)
- but i had heavy course and i can"t continue but you were really great .» (At least 35 hours/week)

2. How large part of the teaching offered did you attend?

67 svarande

0%»6 8%
25%»4 5%
50%»10 14%
75%»32 47%
100%»15 22%

Genomsnitt: 3.68

- It clashed with the course advanced algorithms 100%» (0%)
- Lecture slides were good and the solutions for problems on the home page.» (0%)
- All lectures collided with other course (TDA566) and the other course was prioritzed.» (25%)
- sometimes, I didn"t have ticket to attend the course. Then three weeks ago, I heve been sent to Trollhattan, and I couldn"t attend the course anymore.» (50%)
- Skipped a few exercise lectures.» (75%)
- Very good lectures and problem solving sessions. No complaints.» (75%)
- All lectures, and excerise movements where good and very helpful. I regret missing the ones I did miss.» (75%)
- The first few lectures were way too simple, so I did not bother to show up. Same thing with a few of the exercise sessions.» (75%)
- missed one problem solving session» (100%)
- Course is teached in a really good way. It is interesting and not too complicated! I enjoy it.» (100%)
- Very passinate teacher!» (100%)
- All lectures, not all problem solving sessions though.» (100%)

Goals and goal fulfilment

The course syllabus states the course goals in terms of learning outcomes, i.e., knowledge, skills and attitudes to be acquired by the student during the course.

3. How understandable are the course goals?

66 svarande

I have not seen/read the goals»7 10%
The goals are difficult to understand»1 1%
The goals give some guidance, but could be clearer»14 21%
The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn»44 66%

Genomsnitt: 3.43

- My own goal is to learn everything in the course book, as well as everything in a number of other books.» (I have not seen/read the goals)
- And the course was very well organized in term of contents and the arrangment of the topics.» (The goals clearly describe what I am supposed to learn)

4. Are the goals reasonable considering your background and the number of credits?

Answer this this question and the succeeding one, only if you do know the course goals.

61 svarande

No, the goals are set too low»2 3%
Yes, the goals seem reasonable»57 93%
No, the goals are set too high»2 3%

Genomsnitt: 2

- Yet, the time spent on each topic seemed not sufficent. Two hours more exercises would be a great help. This might be because I missed some classes.» (Yes, the goals seem reasonable)
- Home assignment 1 was to hard. Should not omit punctuation"s.» (No, the goals are set too high)

5. Did the examination assess whether you have reached the goals?

62 svarande

No, not at all»0 0%
To some extent»19 30%
Yes, definitely»25 40%
I don"t know/have not been examined yet»18 29%

Genomsnitt: 2.98

- not examined yet.» (I don"t know/have not been examined yet)

Teaching and course administration

6. To what extent has the teaching been of help for your learning?

65 svarande

Small extent»10 15%
Some extent»10 15%
Large extent»34 52%
Great extent»11 16%

Genomsnitt: 2.7

- I was not at the lessons» (Small extent)
- Not being able to attend many lectures is the reason here.» (Small extent)
- very good lecture notes» (Large extent)
- It helped me a lot with some of the mathematics.» (Large extent)
- The home assignments where very good.» (Large extent)
- very good lectures, good and structured slides.» (Great extent)

7. To what extent has the course literature and other material been of help for your learning?

65 svarande

Small extent»14 21%
Some extent»16 24%
Large extent»23 35%
Great extent»12 18%

Genomsnitt: 2.5

- Did not buy the book» (Small extent)
- I did not buy the course litterature, but the information provided on the webpage was useful.» (Small extent)
- Didn"t buy the book. The slides has been very helpful.» (Some extent)
- did not use book» (Some extent)
- Learnt by doing home assignments and problem sessions.» (Large extent)
- wikipedia is very good» (Large extent)
- I didn"t have the book. The course slides were quit good and sufficient. They match the course goals except for the hardware part. Hardware implementation were discussed very little.» (Large extent)
- Har inte använt kursboken dock utan material från hemsidan.» (Large extent)
- Lecture slides were excellent!» (Great extent)

8. How well did the course administration, web page, handouts etc work?

65 svarande

Very badly»2 3%
Rather badly»2 3%
Rather well»22 33%
Very well»39 60%

Genomsnitt: 3.5

- They didn"t correct the handouts in reasonable time.» (Very badly)
- Slow correction of labs.» (Rather badly)
- The web page could be better organized. Having everything on one page makes it kind of confusing.» (Rather well)
- I couldn"t log into fire system. That might be due to my late registration.» (Rather well)
- The web page is really good.» (Very well)
- Very organized homepage, assignment, old exams etc. The best administration in my 4 years at chalmers. Good Job!» (Very well)
- Extremely good website, the standardized ones that are hosted on www.student.chalmers.se are terrible. I"m very glad that this course used a custom website.» (Very well)
- The course web page for cryptography was actually the first really good course web page I"ve ever seen!» (Very well)
- Only negative was the long wait for corrections on home assignments (although they were explained, which was nice).» (Very well)

Study climate

9. How were the opportunities for asking questions and getting help?

66 svarande

Very poor»0 0%
Rather poor»5 7%
Rather good»20 30%
Very good»17 25%
I did not seek help»24 36%

Genomsnitt: 3.9

- I didn"t seek much help, but that might have to do with the fact that I was not really sure of whom to ask. Also I think that it good if the lecturer stays in the lecturehall during the break, so that the students can ask questions. This was many times not the case.» (Rather poor)

10. How well has cooperation between you and your fellow students worked?

66 svarande

Very poorly»1 1%
Rather poorly»6 9%
Rather well»18 27%
Very well»29 43%
I did not seek cooperation»12 18%

Genomsnitt: 3.68

- I think it would be better to make the project compulsory to do by two persons» (Rather poorly)
- I started the course one week late. Once I could discuss one exercise with a Chinese students. They had problems on that an then they worked in their groups.» (Rather poorly)
- I think that the way of studying in Chalmers doesn"t encourage students helping each other and actually discourage this behavior. But it is a general problem rather than a course problem.» (Rather poorly)
- on the lab» (Very well)
- Worked in a group.» (Very well)

11. How was the course workload?

66 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»4 6%
Adequate»41 62%
High»16 24%
Too high»5 7%

Genomsnitt: 3.33

- Can"t really judge this. I attended the classes as much as I could and did some of the exercises» (Adequate)
- First home assignment was very hard.» (Too high)

12. How was the total workload this study period?

66 svarande

Too low»0 0%
Low»2 3%
Adequate»32 48%
High»24 36%
Too high»8 12%

Genomsnitt: 3.57

- Probabely due to my out-side problems.» (High)
- Three courses does that to you...» (High)

Summarizing questions

13. What is your general impression of the course?

66 svarande

Poor»1 1%
Fair»1 1%
Adequate»8 12%
Good»36 54%
Excellent»20 30%

Genomsnitt: 4.1

- the assignments were graded after a very long time. Sometimes it was impossible to make a resubmission because it was evaluated 1-2 day before resubmission date as in elliptic curve homework. The feedback is also very bad, it did not show us any way it just says it is wrong.If a student passes the homework in first time than no problem, but if he had to make a resubmission his job is too difficult in this course. lecture slides are not helpful. Sometimes i had to read the slides and then write it into wikipedia to understand. Lectures are also not clear. For example in extended euclidean algorithm, instructor solved it wrong in the first attempt in the class and then he tried to solve it again and say something while my mind is confused. I still do not know the way in the lecture i have learned the long calculation method in the book instead. And in none of the slides an expalation for that method. Also for miller rabin and most of the other things.There could be only one way for a student to think that these slides are helpful, if he did not look at cryptography slides in other universities. Despite the fact that i"m not happy with the course, i think the instructor of the course is an open-minded person and he will evaluate our feedbacks about the course and will change the mistakes next year.» (Poor)
- The contents is very interesting and seems useful. » (Good)
- Excellent lectures» (Good)
- Good structure of the contents, lecture slides clear and well understandable. Good presentation of the contents in the lectures.» (Good)
- It was a bit simple, but I dont think you should change that. I think it would be better to put advanced things in a separate advanced course.» (Good)
- The lectures was presented in a good way, not just theory but lots of application areas, which made it interesting.» (Excellent)
- Interesting, lecture material easy to understand, good slides» (Excellent)
- I"ve learned a lot and could update what I know about cryptography.» (Excellent)

14. What should definitely be preserved to next year?

- The lecture notes»
- Home assignement»
- Lectures, home assignments, course web page.»
- teaching and home assignment. Because these home work is closely related to the course and help to see practical link between theory and reality.»
- Weekly assignments are very good.»
- assignments should be preserved »
- Björns lectures. Best teacher so far.»
- The teacher!»
- The labs (in general) were good. »
- The assignments. Only a few courses have assignments that are good and fun, this is one of them.»
- The slides. Home problem sessions.»
- protocols»
- The assignments and the lectures were highly motivating and should be kept.»
- Good lectures and good workload. »
- Good home assignments and good website!»
- The course syllabus.»
- All the interesting lab assignments.»
- The home assignements. They give a better understanding, aswell as the problemsolving sessions.»
- First hand-decryption assignment»
- RSA and Elgamal lectures on public key cryptography.»
- Labs»
- i do not see anything as indispensible in the course»
- The problem solving sessions»
- The assignments!»
- the well structured handouts. in particular, that you allow students to download and print out all handouts at the beginning of the study period.»
- Home assignments.»
- assignments are really good they should be kept.»
- The DSS laboration.»
- Björns excellent lectures and slides!»
- should be more clearer in notes in pdf»

15. What should definitely be changed to next year?

- Change the course administration, correct the assignments in time.»
- Home assignment/Lab correction was slow.»
- Maybe give less mathematical material because i think it is a bit much and sometimes we are somewhat stuck.»
- The course should be marked as at least 50% math, if not more, cause that"s what it is. »
- There should be more programming assignment and also a new tool if possible»
- Having the labs before going through the material in class was not really the best idea. One gets a better understanding if the theory comes before the practice. Also the fourth lab (IDS) was kind of meaningless. I would suggest perhaps a bit more depth.»
- Correct assignments in time. No encryption of assignments before handing in. Publish the solution to home problems 24 hours in advance. This enables students to make up their mind, whether they need to attend the exercise lecture.»
- Maybe a little more number/group theory to properly explain the intricacies of RSA etc.»
- I think the assignments should be a little more advanced.»
- nothing»
- Although the delays did not matter that much, maybe you should get more course assistants for your own sake. By enforcing a specific style of the assignments, you could also make the correcting mostly automatic.»
- In my opinion, all the work done in the home assignments should have any importance in the final score»
- Spending more time some extra hours per week.»
- 1) Wider range of plaintexts for first assignment. Nearly everyone I talked to had a plaintext from Cherlock Holmes. 2) When you write elgamal or Diffie Hellman or whatever, DO NOT USE capital and little X. This is not readable, instead: Write a FAT X and a normal X, as in vector notation. This makes X x more distinguishable, bot in slides and on the blackboard.»
- Less classical ciphers and perhaps more about Elliptic curves.»
- lecture slidesshould be more clear and detailed with information the homework graders should perform faster with detailed feedback »
- more illustration to elliptic curve cryptography should be added, algorithms for discrete log problem factorization and a lot of others get very complicated and difficult to understand»
- Add the proofs! It was always "but we don"t prove this here..." and it made me skip lectures. You don"t have to go through the proofs in the lecture but at least add them as reading material on the webpage.»
- More lectures early in the course (when easy and familiar things are discussed) and move all the HA deadlines to one week earlier so no submission in the last week (better spent on exam studies). Clarify som HA descriptions, especially the programming one.»
- The strictly math based parts of the course was hard to understand»
- not only assignments but some practical experiments»

16. Additional comments

- Good course»
- It would be nice if questions not relating to the course or simply questions from people not understanding basic computer communication would be handled after classes instead of taking up valuable class time.»
- good job Björn! Keep up the good work!»
- A really good lecture.»
- It would be nice with some more information about recent research in the field (e.g. NIST"s current competition). An advanced course would also be interesting, especially if it includes modern cryptanalysis.»
- the exam stick to last week and we haven"t enough time to review course. »
- I learned a lot!»
- A very good course!!»
- Intressant kurs med bra upplägg. Lärorika hemuppgifter och laboration.»
- Very good overall course.»
- maybe one more person for correcting home assigments. »
- You could maby talk about the cryptosystem used in the new creditcards. Could be interessting maybe. »
- nothing»

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