EE817/IS 893: Cryptography Engineering and Cryptocurrency


3 Credits
MW 10:30- 11:45, N1 111

  • Required: Handbook of Applied Cryptography by Alfred J. Menezes, Paul C. Van Oorschot, Scott A. Vanstone (Editor), CRC Press, ISBN 0849385237, (October 16, 1996) Available on-line at

Instructor: Yongdae Kim
      Email:  yongdaek(at)
      Office:  Room 201 N26
      Office hours: TBD (Also possible by e-mail)

Class Homepage:

Read this document very carefully, as it defines what is required to perform effectively in this class.
This course introduces basic concepts in cryptography and discusses both its theoretical foundations and practical applications. Various threats, attacks and countermeasures including cryptosystems, cryptographic protocols and some of secure systems/networks will be addressed. The course will cover: brief history of cryptography, encryption (conventional and public key), digital signatures, hash functions, message authentication codes, identification, authentication, and their applications. As a case study, we will take a look at various aspects of cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Etherium and other Alt Coins. Students who take this course 1) will be able to pursue research in security and cryptography and 2) will be able to use cryptographic primitives securely when they work after finishing their degree program.

Warning A majority of students taking this class think they may be able to do only the homework questions as a means of learning the cryptography. This is not sufficient practice for most students to be able to survive the quizzes, exams, and therefore the course. Homework problems are only a guideline to subject area of the upcoming quiz. The homework questions will help you to understand the material. The homework questions are not necessarily similar to exams or quizzes. It is essential for most students to read the relevant sections of the book as the course proceeds, and do a large number of the exercises, for typically fifteen (15) hours per week.

Course content very approximately in temporal order:
  • HAC Ch 1, Introduction
  • HAC Ch 2, Mathematics! Mathematics! Mathematics!
  • HAC Ch 5, 6, Symmetric Cyphers
  • HAC Ch 9, Hash Functions and Integrity
  • HAC Ch 8, Public Key Encryption
  • HAC Ch 11, Digital Signatures
  • HAC Ch 10, Identification and Authentication
  • HAC Ch 12, Key Establishment and Management

Evaluation: The following rules will be strictly enforced.
Evaluation will consist of homeworks (6), quizzes (6), and a Final exam. You must pass each quiz and examination individually by attaining at least 40% of the available points on each, as the subject material is so diverse. Persons who fail to do so will receive an F for the course. For Quiz, you can fail once. If you fail twice, you will get F automatically. All quizzes and examinations are open book and open notes. Do not schedule any absences during the semester --- there are no make-up quizzes. If you have emergency situation, please send me e-mail before the quiz or the exam.
Due dates for all assignments are strict: all homeworks must be received at the very start of the class in which they are due in order to receive credit. All your assignment must be submitted typed and submitted on-line using e-mail.

Every submission is due on Monday 2:15 PM. Late homework or project without instructor's approval will be given 0.

Grading is absolute (i.e. not on a curve). The overall grade will be based upon: 2% for each homework, 5% for each quiz, 28% for the final, 30% for the project. A minimum of 50% is necessary for an S or C- grade.

Grading will be as follows: 90.0% or above yields an A, 87.0% an A-, 83% = B+, 80% = B, 75% = B-, 70% = C+, 65% = C, 60% = C-, 55% = D, and less than 50% yields an F. Percentages are not rounded when using this scheme, because this would be tantamount to moving all of the grade boundaries down by 0.5%.
Grading is performed by the TAs. If you have a question about grading, address it to the TAs. Only if something wholely unreasonable has occurred will the instructor intervene. And this has not yet proved necessary. Furthermore, there is a limit of ten days from when an assignment or quiz is returned (whether you are there to receive it or not) for grading problems to be dealt with. After that period, such will not be considered. The sole exception to this rule is the final examination.

Incompletes (or make up exams) will in general not be given. These options will be considered only when a provably serious family or personal emergency arises, proof is presented, and the student has already completed all but a small portion of the work.

Scholastic conduct must be acceptable. Specifically, you must do your homeworks, quizzes and examinations yourself, on your own.