Topic outline

  • We explore some deep cryptograpy in this course, and you will learn how to become a crypto Wizard.

    In this edition of the course, we will cover the following topics, among other things:

    • Cryptographic hash functions
    • Complexity theoretic hash functions
    • Impossibility results and nice proofs for MiniCrypt which were skipped in basic crypto course
    • Any topics which the participants like to present :-)

    The course contains lectures, exercises and (optional) student presentations.

    For more information, see any of the following pages:

  • Where to get points:

    You can get max 4 points per exercise sheet, there are 10 exercise sheets in total. You can solve as many exercises per sheet as you want. For an exercise, you get 1 point for a reasonable attempt and 2 points for a mostly correct solution (but max 4 points per sheet).

    There are 12 lectures, each of them containing quizzes. Answering all the quizzes of one lecture and at least one of them correctly is worth 1 point.

    Additionally, you can give a 15 min presentation and a presentation is worth 10 points.

    Points are not given for late submissions and we do not grant extensions for dls for any reason, please take this into account when scheduling (the passing criteria is low s.t. you can still pass the course even if you miss some exercises or lectures, hence we do not make special arrangements e.g. in case of illness).

    Passing criteria:

    - 30 points in total out of 63 possible points (4*10 from exercises, 13 from lecture quizzes (12 lectures, each worth 1 point except lec 8 is worth 2 points), 10 from the presentation)

    There is no exam and the grading is pass/fail.

  • Presentation schedule:

    • January 13 (soft): Let Chris know by that you would like to give a presentation. You can also write earlier.
    • January 12 - January 17: Discuss contents of the presentation with one of the teachers, search for collaborators (if you like), we can help you find a collaborator
    • January 24: Send message to Chris with: topic of the presentation, list of speakers, outline of the contents
    • February 3, 12:00 (Thursday): Send a draft version of the recording for feedback
    • February 3, 18:00 (Thursday): You receive feedback on the draft recording
    • February 10, 18:00 (Thursday): Send final version of presentation to Chris
    • Presentations will be Monday 14th February 2022. Presentations will be 15-20 minutes and will be followed by a short Q&A session.

    Presentation content is based on individual interest. It should be a presentation on advanced technical material, either research or engineering, in the field of cryptography.

    Presentations are pre-recorded, you can use any recording software you like, e.g. zoom. Just make sure the audio is clear throughout (make a short test recording to check this). You can borrow a microphone if you need one, just ask Chris, Kirthi or Pihla.

    Presentation requirements:

    The presentation should be on advanced technical material, either research of engineering in the field of cryptography. Discuss with Chris, Kirthi or Pihla if you need clarification and/or want to brainstorm on topics to present. The presentation should explain the conceptual/structural ideas behind the content that is explained: I.e., why is the design/construction/definition/proof the way it is, which ideas drive the design etc.? This should be based on the presenter's own understanding, and the presenter should actively seek this understanding before presenting (it's also okay to disagree with certain aspects of the presented content and to state that disagreement/confusion). The presentation should be aimed at helping the audience learn about the material. The presentation should be mindful of audience's limited memory and help the audience remember important base ideas (you can also prepare a "hand-out" with the main ideas or something like that), especially if there are many ideas to remember.

    Here is an idea for a structure if you'd like some inspiration (but you can structure the presentation in any way you'd like).

    • start with stating the topic of the presentation
    • start with a short introduction why you, personally, are interested in this topic (i.e., say things you yourself believe in regardless of whether that's a common belief or not - it helps us learn from the real understanding and perspective of a real person which is always useful).
    • then start with some of the most interesting concepts/ideas
    • apply these concepts and/or explain how they can be used

    Grading: The default number of participation points is 10 for giving a presentation and will usually not be lower. I.e., the presentation and the understanding of the presenter shall be good, but it doesn't need to be perfect. However, if the presentation is not suitable for communicating and generating understanding, participation points for presenting might be reduced to 5. If we judge that there is a risk of this, we will communicate this when seeing the draft presentation 1 week before.

    The idea behind a presentation is that you present something which you personally care about, since this is what is most interesting to listen to. As a result, we do not hand out topics - however, you can, e.g., present a recent paper that was published in cryptography, see, e.g.,:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student

    Join course zulip Links to lectures will be published in zulip only and zulip is the main channel to discuss course practicalities, so please join before noon 10th January 2022.

    Lectures are pre-recorded and for the quiz points, you should answer the all lecture quizzes before Monday at 12:00. (First quiz DL is exceptionally on Thursday 13.1.2022 at 18:00 because a deadline on the first day of the first week is easy to miss). Lectures and lecture notes are published zulip.

    There are 10 exercise sheets, they will be published in MyCourses and the solutions should be submitted to MyCourses. Please return your solutions as a single pdf per sheet. DL for exercises is 10:00 on Mondays (first exercise dl on 17.1.2022).

    Please only submit your exercise solutions when they are ready to be graded/when you want feedback! 

    This way, you can submit exercises early if you want (even weeks before the dl!) and still receive feedback and points quickly.

    We do not publish model solutions, but instead we give detailed personalized feedback that might contain model solutions to the exercises that you attempted. Your teaching assistant will carefully study your ideas and provide helpful suggestions. In particular, you can also ask questions to your teaching assistant in the exercise solutions which you submit and ask the teaching assistant to clarify points.

    We encourage you to choose the option of choosing many exercises and be open to the possibility of making mistakes---studies on learning (Unsuccessful Retrieval Attempts Enhance Subsequent Learning, Nate Kornell, Matthew Jensen Hays, and Robert A. Bjork, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 2009, Vol. 35, No. 4, 989-998) tend to indicate that we learn when we make mistakes and get feedback to correct and/or refine our thinking. This is a central part of learning, so we encourage you to be open to the possibility of pushing the boundaries of your understanding in a safe space which supports your learning, which is appreciative of your effort to learn and acknowledges that learning means to experiment with thinking.

    Creating a safe space for experimenting with thinking and at the same time defining ``course passing criteria'' is somewhat in a tension with one another. Ideally, there would be no course passing criteria, but this is not possible, so we try to make course passing criteria such that they encourage and support engaging genuinely with the material. In particular, our point system is designed to allow to obtain full points also on an exercise sheet where none of the provided answers was correct---because point-giving should encourage learning and not get in the way of it by forcing everyone to only hand-in perfectly correct exercises from the start.

    We provide a nice LaTeX template in the bottom of this page which you can use for your exercise solutions, but you can also write on paper and scan the result or take a well-lit, high-quality picture.

    On Mondays 12:30-13:00 (or longer if need be) there will be an after lecture discussion where you can ask Chris about the lecture. Here you can also get started on the corresponding exercise sheet and make sure you understand all the questions, that is, in this session you can ask questions on exercise sheet and the lecture. These slots are reserved for technical discussions. We do not answer questions pertaining to passing criteria in these sessions, please ask non-technical questions (e.g. passing criteria, schedule) in zulip.

    The idea for Mondays' schedule is that you can:

    • watch the lecture and answer quizzes 10-12
    • have a lunch break 12-12:30
    • join the after lecture discussion 12:30-13

    But since the lectures are pre-recorded, you can of course watch them earlier as well if it fits your schedule better :-)

    Additionally, there will be two exercise sessions per week (one live, one zoom) where you can ask questions on the exercises. Live session might change to zoom depending on the COVID situation (this will be announced in zulip, if it happens). See the times and locations of the sessions in period III in zulip. Times for period IV will be decided later based on your wishes.

    There are no participation points for participating the after lecture discussion or the exercise sessions, participation is optional. The sessions are there to help your learning.

    You can always ask questions in zulip as well.

    See all the dls in the pdf below:

  • (to be announced)

    See also Crypto Companion for definitions used in the basic cryptography course. In Crypto Companion you can find definitions for negligible, OWFs, PRGs, PRFs, etc.

    • In Crypto Companion, it should be easy to search for a specific definition if just need to remind yourself of, say, how the stretch of a PRG was defined.
    • Crypto Companion also lists most used notation. We use the same notation in this course, so if you see some unfamiliar notation in some lecture in this course, it is a good idea to check Crypto Companion. 
    • Additionally, the beginning of the document gives a nice introduction to foundations of cryptography.

  • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student

    Exercise sheets will be published here and you should submit your solutions here.

    Please only submit your solutions when they are ready to be graded/when you want feedback! 

    This way, you can submit exercises early if you want (even weeks before the dl!) and still receive feedback and grade quickly.

    We do not publish model solutions, but instead we give detailed personalized feedback that might contain model solutions to the exercises that you attempted.