Math 342
Algebra and Coding Theory


Information for Final Exam

Office hours for week of April 14: Tuesday and Thursday, April 15 and 17, 1 - 2:30

2011 final (problems 1,2,5,6,7,8)

2010 final (problems 1,2,6,7,8)

2008 final (problems 1-6)

Examples of Hamming and Gilbert-Varshamov bounds

Table of bounds for best codes

Lecture Notes, April 1,3, and 8 (revised April 8)

Lecture Notes, March 18, 25 and 27

Solutions to Midterm 2

Solutions to Sample Midterm 2

Sample Midterm 2

Information for Midterm 2 (Thursday, March 20 in class)

Lecture Notes, March 11 and 13

Lecture Notes, March 4 and 6

Lecture Notes, Feb. 4 - 28

Midterm 2: Thursday, March 20

Solutions to Midterm 1

Solutions to Sample Midterm

Sample Midterm

Information for Midterm 1 (Thursday, Feb. 6, in class)

Lecture Notes, Jan. 7 - 30

Questions regarding registration for this class should be addressed to the Mathematics Department office staff Room 121 Mathematics Building.

Homework assignments will be posted weekly below. First homework will be due on Thursday, January 16. For information on homework policy, see below.

Midterm 1, Thursday, Feb. 6; Midterm 2: Thursday, March 20
For information on midterm policy, see below..

Instructor Information

Instructor: Brian Marcus
Email : marcus[at]math[dot]ubc[dot]ca
Office: Math Building, Room 218
Office Hours:  Tuesday and Wednesday 1:00- 2:30 and by appointment
Phone: 822-3262

Course Information

Section: 201
Class time:  TuTh 9:30 - 10:50
Class location:  LSK 460

Course web page: will be updated throughout the term.

Text:  Coding Theory: A First Course, by San Ling and Chaoping Xing, Cambridge University Press, reprinted 2010
Course Description :
The course is an introduction to abstract algebra and error-correcting codes. Both proof and algorithmic techniques will be emphasized. Topics will include coding and decoding schemes, finite fields, vector spaces over finite fields, linear codes, syndrome decoding, Hamming codes, coding bounds, BCH codes and Reed-Solomon codes.


Your course mark will be based on homework, the midterms and the final exam. The final mark will be roughly determined by:

Homework (15%) + Midterms (35%) + Final Exam (50%)

Missed Exam Policy: Please make sure you do not make travel plans, work plans, etc., without regard to the examination schedule in this class. There will be no make-up or alternate exams.

If you miss a midterm, your score will be recorded as 0, unless you have a serious documented reason (an illness, a death in the family, etc.), in which case you should discuss your circumstances with the instructor as soon as possible, and in advance of the test.

Missed finals are not handled by the instructor or the Mathematics Department. Students with legitimate reasons for missing the final exam should request a "Standing Deferred" status through their Faculty.

Academic Integrity: The Mathematics Department strictly enforces UBC's Academic Integrity Code.

Students with Disabilities

Please see the instructor as soon as possible if you need any special accommodations.

Homework Assignments

Homework will be assigned every week and collected in class on Thursdays. Late homework will NOT be accepted. The lowest homework grade will be dropped. Students are allowed to consult one another concerning homework problems, but solutions submitted for credit must be written by the student in his or her own words. Copying solutions from another student, from the web or from any other source, and turning them in as your own is a violation of the Academic Code.

Homework #1 due Thursday, January 16


Homework #2 due Thursday, January 23


Homework #3 due Thursday, January 30


Homework #4 due Friday, February 14


Homework #5 due Thursday, Ferbruary 27


Homework #6 due Thursday, March 6 (corrected, March 2)


Homework #7 due Thursday, March 13


Homework #8, due Thursday, April 3

Solutions (corrected, April 7)

Homework #9 due Friday, April 11, 4PM, in the boxtop on the chair outside my office)