CSIC 3907-83/6907-82 - Advanced Cryptography

Wednesdays, 12:45-3:15
District House B205

Instructor Information

Name: Arkady Yerukhimovich
Email: arkady@gwu.edu
Office: SEH4570
Office hours: By appointment

Course description

This course will introduce students to modern research in cryptography. This is a seminar-style course with students reading and leading discussion on recent academic papers in the field. The course will teach students how to read, understand, and analyze academic papers and how to identify open problems for further research. There will also be a semester-long research project for students to apply the skills they have learned.

The course will cover two different active research topics in cryptography. The first is differential privacy, or how can we perform statistical analyses on large data sets while maintaining the privacy of the individuals whose data is contained in the datasets. The second topic will study the cryptography underlying blockchain technology. We will focus on the low-level protocols and algorithms to understand the properties that blockchain does and does not provide.

See syllabus for additional details.

Grading

Participation30%
Presentations30%
Research Project40%

Reading List:

A list of papers to choose from for presentations is available here.

Students are welcome to add to this list if they find a paper that they find interesting, even if they do not want to present it. When claiming a paper, please add your name to the "claimed by" column so people know what you will be presenting. I ask that you do this by the Friday before your presentation to give other students time to read the paper.

Some resources for finding places include:

  • ePrint - many recent crypto papers
  • arXiv crypto and data structures - paper repositories, use search to find relevant papers
  • Recent conferences in security, crypto, ML, etc.
  • Differential Privacy Resources:

    Here are some additional reading materials for background on differential privacy
  • The Foundations of Differential Privacy by Dwork, Roth - Good textbook giving overview of differential privacy defintions, constructions, and applications.
  • Course on Differential Privacy - this is a course by Aaron Roth covering much of the material in the book above. Has lecture slides.
  • Tutorial - Tutorial on differential privacy by Adam Smith
  • Blockchain Resources:

    Here are some additional reading materials for background on blockchain:
  • Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies by Narayanan, Bonneau, Felten, Miller, and Goldfeder - Good textbook giving overview of Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
  • Blockchain Course - Lecture notes for a course on Blockchain by Aggelos Kiayais
  • Medium article - Nice, short, write-up on Synchrony assumptions in PoS blockchains
  • Announcements:

  • NEW: We will have our final project presentations on Wednesday Apr. 24th, starting at 12:45. The talks will be in SEH 4605 (not our usual classroom).
  • NEW:On Apr. 17, we will have the following two presentations:
  • On Apr. 10, we will have the following two presentations:
  • DC-area crypto day will be held at NIST on Thursday, April 11. All are welcome to attend (it's FREE), but prior registration by April 4 is required. Crypto Day
  • On Apr. 3, we will have the following three presentations:
  • On Mar. 27, we will have the following three presentations:
  • On Mar. 6, we will have the following two presentations:
  • On Feb. 27, we will have the following two presentations (moved from Feb. 20):
  • On Feb. 13, we will have the following two presentations:
  • On Feb. 6, we will have the following two presentations:
  • On Jan. 30, we will have the following two presentations:
  • On Jan. 23, I will lead discussion on the following paper: Prochlo: Strong Privacy for Analytics in the Crowd. Everybody should skim over the paper to understand the main contributions, results, and techniques. As you read, try to think of any questions you have about the problems addressed, results, or techniques and any thoughts on further questions motivated by the paper.
  • Welcome to Advanced Crypto