CS 127 / CSCI E-127: Cryptography

Boaz Barak

Tuesdays-Thursdays 11:30am-1:00pm

Extension school TF: Mark Yao (markyao (at) college (dot) harvard (dot) edu)

Contact Boaz and Mark for Skype/Google hangouts office hours.

Canvas website: https://canvas.harvard.edu/courses/9393
(Used to submit all homeworks and quizzes.)

Piazza website: https://piazza.com/harvard/spring2016/cs127/home (for questions and discussions.)

This course is being offered both as a Harvard college course and as an online course in the extension school. The lectures and problem sets are identical in both versions. See the course main page for more information about this course, and the canvas website for information how to submit homework and quizzes.

Why should I take this course as an extension student? If you are mathematically inclined, interested in the basic fundamentals of cryptography, and want to also learn about exciting theoretical advances such as fully homomorphic encryption and indistinguishability obfuscation, then this course might be for you. The Foreword, Syllabus and Prerequisites document can help you decide if this course is for you.

What kind of background do I need to succeed in this class? The main background is the ability to read, write (and even enjoy!) mathematical proofs. There are many good books and resources on this topic. In particular, Chapters 1-4 and 14-19 in the online lecture notes from MIT are a good resource. Familiarity with discrete probability, algorithms (e.g., as in this book), and computational complexity (as in the first two chapters of my book with Arora) would be useful. One good way for you to self asses is to read the following mathematical background document and make sure you can solve the exercises there.