Instructor: Zvi Kedem,, (212) 998-3101, 715 Broadway, Room 702.

Office hours: Tuesdays: 2:00-3:00 and 5:30-6:30

Class information:

This is a special topics course, not intended to cover a well-defined topic.

The class will be runs as a combination of lectures and research seminar. It will focus on two areas:

  1. Cryptographic foundations of various security protocols. This will include explaining the mathematical results that are used, with proofs kept to the barest minimum and many mathematical results explained without proofs. The cryptographic algorithms and protocols covered will mostly be selected from the list: key exchange, authentication, secret sharing, digital signatures, timestamping services, subliminal channels, undeniable signatures, bit commitment, coin flipping on the telephone, all or nothing disclosure of secrets, zero knowledge proofs, digital certified mail, elections, digital cash, DES, RSA, key management, compromised key handling
  2. Selected papers/research directions of current interest, some covered by outside security experts and researchers.

There will be no programming projects. If the class is small (<=12), students will be required to read some research paper(s), and write a report and possibly present it in class or to the instructor. If the class is medium (<=20), there will be a smaller requirement for independent reading of papers and there will be a final. If the class is large (>20); there will be a midterm and a final and no independent reading. The exams will all be open books.

As there will be no textbook, students really should attend practically every class.

There will be some overlap of material with previous security classes taught in the department.

A class mailing list has been set up. You are expected to sign up for it and read the email you get from it regularly. You sign up by sending email to the address In the body of the message put the following line:
subscribe sec-class
and nothing else. You will get a confirmation with some message; ignore what it says. You will not be able to post to this list or unsubscribe from it. I will use it to send email to the students.

Some of the books I am consulting; to the extent possible they will be on reserve at CIMS library. They greatly vary in the way they treat the material and the choice of material; from mathematics to implementation details; from very formal to very informal.(You are not required to have them; from all I most recommend Schneier's book, which while readable is not very formal.)