For those looking for a New Year’s resolution, perhaps learning the basics of cryptography is one option. Stanford is spinning up their free online crypto course again for the spring semester. Beginning January 6 and taught by Dan Boneh, the course covers all the basics including symmetric and asymmetric cryptography, digital signatures, authentication protocols, zero-knowledge proofs, and privacy.
Cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. This course explains the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and how to correctly use them. Students will learn how to reason about the security of cryptographic constructions and how to apply this knowledge to real-world applications. The course begins with a detailed discussion of how two parties who have a shared secret key can communicate securely when a powerful adversary eavesdrops and tampers with traffic. We will examine many deployed protocols and analyze mistakes in existing systems. The second half of the course discusses public-key techniques that let two or more parties generate a shared secret key. We will cover the relevant number theory and discuss public-key encryption, digital signatures, and authentication protocols. Towards the end of the course we will cover more advanced topics such as zero-knowledge, distributed protocols such as secure auctions, and a number of privacy mechanisms. Throughout the course students will be exposed to many exciting open problems in the field.
The course will include written homeworks and programming labs. The course is self-contained, however it will be helpful to have a basic understanding of discrete probability theory.
Do you plan to attend? Post your comments below. Today’s post pic is from Forbes.com.