Spring 2022 — Special Topics in Cryptography

Location: Cory 540AB most days, Cory 531 on March 2 and March 9

Time: Wednesdays 18:30 - 20:00

Logistics: Please fill out our interest form here to join this reading group

Files: scribe note template, recordings and scribe notes, sign up sheet

The reading group will follow an abridged version of Stanford CS 355 Sp21.

Our main references are the readings listed on Stanford CS 355’s syllabus. Additional resources that I find helpful/fun (this will be continuously updated):

Fun stuff in Stanford CS 355 that are left out (can talk about if we have time)

  • OWF => PRG => PRF => PRP => Block Cipher
  • Discrete Log
  • Elliptic Curves
  • Pairing-based Cryptography
  • SNARGs from Polynomial commitment + IOP
  • More Lattice-based Cryptography
Date Topic Resources
Week 1 (2/9)

Intro to Cryptography

  • Basic cryptographic primitives and the relation between them
  • (Part 1 aka CS161 Crypto Module Crash Course): Encryption / Authentication : Symmetric / Asymmetric. Commitments. Basic cryptographic primitives and the relation between them
  • (Part 2): Lecture 1 cont. OWF => PRG => PRF if we have time.
Week 2 (2/16)

Interactive proofs, Zero knowledge

  • Updating proofs for the computer age! Plus: how to prove something without giving away any knowledge
Week 3 (2/23)

Succinct Non-interactive Arguments (SNARGs) from PCPs, Polynomial commitments

  • Making zero-knowledge proofs efficient. What is the role of interactivity and randomness in proof?
Week 4 (3/2)

BUFFER WEEK (discrete log if time)

  • Discrete log: a problem whose hardness many cryptographic primitives depend on.
Week 5 (3/9)

Oblivious transfer, Two-party computation: Yao’s garbled circuits

  • How to compute functions on two secret inputs without revealing anything but their output. How to request information without revealing what you requested.
Week 6 (3/16)

Secret sharing

  • Splitting up secrets among people so people can only recover them by pooling their information.
Week 7 (3/30)

Multi-party Computation

  • Two-party computation, but with more parties!
Week 8 (4/6)


Week 9 (4/13)

Differential privacy

  • How to aggregate data without leaking individuals’ information.
Week 10 (4/20)

Private Information Retrieval

  • How do I create a database such that no one knows what data I have retrieved from the database?
Week 11 (4/27)

Fully homomorphic encryption (LWE)

  • Enc(f(x))=f(Enc(x)) for all x and polynomials f, yuh