CS 2950-v: Topics in Applied Cryptography (Fall '17)

Meeting Time: TTh 10:30-11:50

Location: CIT 506

Instructor: Seny Kamara (seny@brown.edu)

Office hours: Th 3:30-5

Prerequisites: CSCI 1660 required; CSCI 1510 strongly recommended.

Syllabus: pdf


This course surveys recent developments in applied cryptography. It is structured as a seminar where students present research papers to their peers and work on a semester-long research project. We will focus on research motivated by privacy and security issues that arise in practice from areas like cloud computing, databases, surveillance and finance. Topics will vary each year. Though the course is motivated by practical/applied problems, some of the papers we will study are theoretical in nature. While previous exposure to the foundations of cryptography (including, e.g., provable security, the simulation paradigm, reductions) will be helpful, we will cover the necessary theory in class.

Topics (tentative)

  1. Encrypted systems
  2. Blockchains
  3. Surveillance

Course Materials

There is no textbook required for this course but students may find Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Katz and Lindell helpful to gain familiarity with cryptography. Other recommended (free) resources include Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Bellare and Rogaway and A Course in Cryptography by Pass and Shelat.

Schedule (tentative)

Lecture Date Topic Notes Reading
1 Th 09/78 Overview
2 Tu 09/12 Introduction to Cryptography pdf
3 Th 09/14 Introduction to Cryptography