CSC2419 (Spring 2013)
Topics in Cryptography: Secure Computation


Course Information

INSTRUCTOR Vinod Vaikuntanathan
Office: Sandford Fleming 2301B
E-mail: vinodv@cs
TIME Tuesday 3 - 5pm,
Office Hours Tuesday 5-6pm in SF2301B, or by appointment
TEXTBOOK There are no required textbooks. Instead, we will use material from the references below.
GRADING Based on a Problem Set, Scribing 1-2 Lectures and a project presentation.

All this information (and more) can be found in the course information sheet.

Course Description

We will focus on understanding the fundamental cryptographic problem of secure multi-party computation: how can n mutually distrusting users each with their private inputs collaborate to compute a joint function of their inputs? In the course of understanding this question, we will see the exciting cryptographic concepts of zero knowledge, oblivious transfer, secret sharing, homomorphic encryption, and (time permitting) various advanced notions such as functional encryption and differential privacy. The set of topics covered in the course is expected to include foundational material as well as questions at the forefront of current research. Students will be expected to read papers and eventually present a paper of their choice in class.

Prerequisites: Mathematical maturity, CSC 2426 (Foundations of Cryptography) and somewhat of a familiarity with basic complexity theory are highly recommended.

Problem Sets

Possible Topics for the Student Presentations


Schedule (subject to change)

Lecture Topic Announcements Scribe Notes
Lecture 1 (Jan 7) What is secure multiparty computation? Semi-honest and malicious adversaries. How to rigorously define security (against semi-honest adversaries). Oblivious Transfer.
Lecture 2 (Jan 14) Oblivious Transfer protocols (contd.), Yao's garbled circuit protocol for secure two-party computation of any function.
Lecture 3 (Jan 21) Yao's protocol (contd.) and its proof of security (against semi-honest adversaries)
Lecture 4 (Jan 28)
Lecture 5 (Feb 4)
Lecture 6 (Feb 11)
Lecture 7 (Feb 18)
Lecture 8 (Feb 25)
Lecture 9 (Mar 4)
Lecture 10 (Mar 11)
Lecture 11 (Mar 18)
Lecture 12 (Mar 25)
Lecture 13 (Apr 2) No Class