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Information Theory & Coding

Fall 2010 Class MS Electrical Engineering (Telecom) Pakistan Navy Engineering College National University of Sciences & Technology


Information Theory is the branch of knowledge which tries to determine answers to questions like: What is the information carrying capacity of a communication channel? How many bits are required at a minimum to represent a certain type of information? How secure is an encryption algorithm? Information is a loaded word – information means many different things in different contexts. Internet is now a part and parcel of our life: packets carry information across the globe. Cellular phones are ubiquitous: we can't think of life without them. DVD, Flash, Hard Disk: allow us to carry tremendous amounts of information. Email: has changed the nature of business and personal communication. Instant Messaging: has made presence awareness and collaboration real-time. Even in the military arena terms like Information Warfare, Psychological Operations, Network Centric Warfare and Situational Awareness are all the contexts in which information is playing a critical role. In this course we shall remain confined to the mathematical and engineering aspects of information measurement and representation.

We shall understand the principles behind theoretical limits on compression, error control and encryption coding techniques. The list of topics to be covered is given below:

Introduction to Information Theory

Mathematical Background

Entropy and Shannon's Measure of Information

Huffman Coding

Lempel-Ziv Coding


Arithmetic Coding

Run Length Encoding

JPEG Image Compression

Speex Audio Codec

Finite Fields

Complexity Theory

Error Control Principles



Hamming Codes

Reed Solomon Codes



Elliptic Curve Cryptography

Data Encryption Standard

Advanced Encryption Standard


Information Theory Coding & Cryptography

Ranjan Bose

Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company

Class Timings

Wednesday: 18:00-21:00, PGPC Lab, Center for Postgraduate Studies

Grading Policy





Hourly Tests


Final Exam


Quizzes shall be surprise and frequent. Homeworks will be due at the beginning of the class. No late homework will be accepted. Final course grades shall be assigned based on the relative grading system in practice at Pakistan Navy Engineering College.

Hourly Test Schedule

Test No.





October 27, 2010



November 24, 2010



December 29, 2010

Plagiarism Policy

All work assigned to students is to be undertaken and submitted in individual capacity. Any evidence of plagiarism will be severely dealt with as per NUST Policy.

About the Instructor

Dr. Athar Mahboob is an Associate Professor at the National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan. Dr. Athar Mahboob obtained a PhD in Electrical Engineering from National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan in 2005. Earlier, he had obtained BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering both from Florida State University, USA (1988-1996). Dr. Athar Mahboob has over 15 years of teaching and research experience in various prestigious universities of Pakistan. Dr. Athar Mahboob is a specialist in implementing Enterprise Information Services using Linux, Information Security and Cryptology, Computer Networks and Internetworking using TCP/IP Protocols, Digital Systems Design and Computer Architectures. Dr. Athar Mahboob's Ph. D. research was focused on “Efficient Hardware and Software Implementations of Elliptic Curve Cryptography” an area in which he has obtained several international publications. In addition to teaching and research, over the last 15 years Dr. Athar Mahboob has performed IT Consultancy assignments for many reputable organizations in the public and private sectors. His consultancy assignments have included PTCL, Pakistan Security Printing Corporation, Peoples' Steel Mills, Institute of Bankers, Pakistan, EFU General Insurance and many others. Being fully involved with both industrial and academic environments allows Dr. Athar Mahboob to educate, train and mentor his students in real-world problem solving.

Contacting the Instructor

Dr. Athar Mahboob

Office: Information Security Research Lab (next to PNEC Data Center)

Cell: 0333-2344105

Tel: 99240178

Office Hours: Monday 11:30-12:30 and Friday 9:00-10:00. Other times are by appointment.