CS 290G: Advanced Topics in Cryptography (Spring 2016)
Instructor: Huijia (Rachel) Lin, rachel.lin(at)cs(dot)ucsb(dot)edu
Class time and location: MW 11:00am12:15pm, Phelps 2510
Office hours: Wed 4:305:30pm or by appointment, HFH 1153
Class webpage: http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~rachel.lin/courses/16s290G/
Course Description
This class is meant to open to you research in Cryptography, both theoretical and applied. To do so, the class will involve reading research papers, reviewing them, discussing them, and doing a project.
Course Setups and Requirements: At the beginning of the course, I will give some lectures on the bare basics of cryptography for 4 lectures.
Next, the class will move to reading research papers. In each class, we will read one or two papers. Two students will be assigned as the lead, who will be responsible in understanding the papers thoroughly (collaboration is recommended), and do the following:
 Write down reviews for the papers, which summarize and evaluate the papers. The review must be typed using Latex and submitted 12 hours before the class on Piazza.
 Prepare and give together a 1 hour presentation of the papers (you can use the board, but slides are recommended). There is no restriction on the forms of presentation. You can present sequentially, each 30 minutes, or act a play together, or anything else.
 Lead a discussion in the remaining 30 minutes of the class about the strength and weakness of the paper, and open questions following the paper.
What papers will we read? There are many exciting research directions in theoretical and applied cryptography, such as, the following ones and many others.
 Crypto Currency (BitCoin)
 Program Obfuscation
 Computing over encrypted data
 Verifiable Computation (SNARK)
 Cryptographic protocols (Multiparty computation, TLS/SSL)
 Passwordbased Cryptography
I will publish an initial list of papers of my choice. But you should also contribute to the list. One first task to you is contributing to the list, by the end of the second week, as many papers you recommend, and at least one. You can find interesting papers on cryptography in top crypto venues (EuroCrypt, Crypto, TCC) or in top security venues (Security and Privacy, Usenix Security, CCS, NDSS). You do not need to be restrcted to the topics mentioned above, but the paper must be related to crypto.
Assignment of lead students Then I will pick a subset of the papers from our list and assign two lead students to papers. You can swap assigned papers between youselves, as long as, both parties agree. You need to report back to me which papers you are the lead for by the end of the third week. We have 10 classes for paper reading. This means suppose there are 10 students in class, each student will be lead twice. If there are more students, we will assign more lead students per class.
Projects Another component of the class is project. You can form teams of two for the project. There are two milestones.
 By the end of the 6th week, you need to decide on your project, and submit to me the slides of a pitch of 10 mins about what your project is and why it is a meaningful project. Then, each group will present their pitch at the beginning of the class, in the following weeks.
 By the middle of the final week, you need to hand in the final report.
Final assessment will depend on a combination of presentation 35%, inclass participation 15%, and final project 50%.
Initial List of Papers (growing)
BitCoin
 BitCoin Specification in the book
 Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from Bitcoin
 Zerocash: Decentralized Anonymous Payments from Bitcoin
 SoK: Research Perspectives and Challenges for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
 Verifying Computations without Reexecuting Them
 Pinocchio: Nearly Practical Verifiable Computation
 IntegriDB: Verifiable SQL for Outsourced Databases
Schedule
This will be filled when we finalize the assignment of papers.
Week  Date  Lecture contents  Format  

1  20160328 


20160330 


2  20160404 

Lecture  
20160406 
Basics II

Lecture  Contribute to Paper List  
3  20160411 
Basics III

Lecture  
20160413 
Basics IV

Lecture  Finalize Lead Assignment  
4  20160418 

Student Presentation  
20160420 

Student Presentation  
5  20160425 

Student Presentation  
20160427 

Student Presentation  
6  20160502 
 Student Presentation  
20160504 

Student Presentation  Project Proposal  
7  20160509  Cancelled, EUROCRYPT  
20160511  Cancelled, EUROCRYPT  
8  20160516 

Student Presentation  
20160518 

Student Presentation  
9  20160523 

Student Presentation  
20160525 
 Student Presentation  
10  20160530  Holiday, Class Cancelled  
20160601 

Student Presentation  
11  20160608  No Class  Final Report Due 