CMSC 858T --- Introduction to Secure Distributed Computation
This course is an introduction to secure distributed computation (broadly construed), primarily intended for graduate students interested in research in this or related areas.
Topics will be determined in part by the interests of the students, and may include secure multiparty computation, fully homomorphic encryption, oblivious RAM, differential privacy, SNARKs, and consensus/blockchain protocols.
The course will focus on reading research papers and will emphasize definitions, foundations, and formal proofs of security. The syllabus will be updated throughout the semester.
Technically, no previous background in cryptography is required for this class since the material does not depend on any specific prior knowledge.
However, students with no prior exposure to cryptography will be missing a lot of the context and may have difficulty following some of the discussion.
Note also that this is not a "survey" course on cryptography, so students who take no other cryptography course will miss out on some fundamental aspects of the field. Mathematical maturity is assumed. I highly encourage students taking this class who have no prior background in (modern) cryptography to watch my free cryptography course on Coursera, and/or to read my textbook, in advance of the class.
This course is an MS/PhD qualifying course.
It is expected that students taking this course are interested in potential research in this area and,
as such, none of the requirements will present a problem for anyone taking the class.
The requirements are:
For further information about scribing lectures, see here.
- Regular attendance and participation during lecture.
- Reading assigned references, which will be listed in advance of lecture.
- Scribing lecture notes (in latex) in small groups. This will count for 25% of the grade.
The number of lectures to be scribed by each student will depend on how many students take the class.
- There will be a midterm exam that will count for 35% of the grade, and a final exam that will count for 40% of the grade.
- February 18 -- class is canceled due to snow.
- Class will be offered synchronously (i.e., during the scheduled class time) using zoom.
If you are not registered for the class but are still interested in attending, please email me at least 24 hours in advance of class and I can send you the link.
- Click here to sign up for the Piazza discussion board for this class.
- Instructor: Jonathan Katz (jkatz AT cs). Office: 3225 AV Williams. Office hours: by appointment -- please email me at any time.
- Teaching assistant:: Doruk Gur. Office hours: Friday 9:30-11:30 (for registered students only). Zoom link Please email in advance if you plan to attend
- The course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 - 10:45 am, starting on January 26.