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slides added slides for May 8 May 8, 2018

Syllabus for CS 5830

Syllabus for CS 5830

Welcome to CS 5830, Cryptography. We will be studying cryptography, both the theory and how it is used in practice. By the end of the course you should understand the basics of cryptography, how cryptographers analyze the security of cryptographic schemes, and how to implement suitable cryptographic algorithms within broader projects.

Classroom: B61

Instructor: Rafael Pass ( and

Office hours: By appointment

Instructor: Tom Ristenpart (

Office hours: By appointment

TA: Siqiu Yao (

Office hours: Fri. 2:30pm - 3:30pm, Gates Hall 406 via Zoom at (Since I am TAing remotely. I recommend you to ask questions via email or Slack!)


Students should have programming experience (we will be focusing on Python), understand basic probability, know binary representations (ASCII), operations on bit strings (XOR), have some background on computer networking, file systems, etc. Equivalent of CS2800 (Discrete Mathematics) and comfort with reasoning about algorithms, such as proving their correctness and analyzing their running times, or permission of instructor. The main skill that will be assumed is the ability to understand and write formal mathematical definitions and proofs. It is also important that you are familiar with basic probability (although we will recall some basic concepts); please refresh yourself by reading Chapter 5 in the following lecture notes: If in doubt talk to the instructors.


The class will involve a combination of lectures, in-class group exercises, homeworks, a prelim, and a final. You'll be graded according to the following:

  • Participation: 10%
  • Homeworks: 60% (each homework will count an equal amount)
  • Final: 30%

There will be several opportunities for extra credit, as well.

One unit project

Those enrolling for an extra unit of credit will conduct a semester-long project. We will provide example project ideas in the first two weeks of class, and work with students to refine the projects. Projects could be a deep-dive into some specific area of cryptography, an implementation project for some state-of-the-art cryptography, or augmenting some other project of your interest with cryptographic mechanisms.

Background reading and Lecture notes

The following books should be helpful, but none are required if you don't want to spend the money:

Lecture schedule

A very preliminary schedule is below to give a taste of the scope of what we're hoping to cover. Homeworks will be due on the due date by 11:59:59pm EST. You can use in total 3 late days throughout the semeseter.

Lecture schedule

Preliminary schedule is below. This will surely evolve

Date Topic Note
Jan 25 Intro & one-time-pads
Jan 30 One-way functions, computational reductions
Feb 1 Background on computational number theory
Feb 6 RSA and discrete log as OWFs
Feb 8 Towards symmetric encryption
Feb 13 Symmetric encryption via OWFs
Feb 15 Pseudorandom generators (PRGs)
Feb 20 No Lecture (February break)
Feb 22 Single-message symmetric encryption from PRG
Feb 27 Multi-message symmetric encryption (PRFs)
Mar 1
Mar 6
Mar 8
Mar 13 Blockciphers Slides
Mar 15 Length-preserving encryption Slides
Mar 20 Class cancelled
Mar 22 Blockcipher modes of operation Slides
Mar 27 Chosen-ciphertext attacks Slides
Mar 39 Message authentication and authenticated encryption Slides
Apr 3 No lecture (Spring break)
Apr 5 No lecture (Spring break)
Apr 10 Hash functions Slides
Apr 12 Password hashing Slides
Apr 17 Public-key cryptography Slides
Apr 29 DH Key exchange Slides
Apr 24 Digital signatures & PKI Slides
Apr 26 Hybrid encryption & ElGamal Slides
May 1 Guest lecture
May 3 RNGs Slides
May 8 Cryptographic backdoors, ABY Project Slides ABY Report