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Cryptography II: Stanford University Online Course with Coursera

Cryptography is the science of information security. It includes techniques such as microdots, merging words with images and other ways to hide information. Cryptography is used to protect e-mail messages, credit card information and corporate data. Cryptography, to most people is concerned with keeping communications private. Indeed, the protection of sensitive communications has been the emphasis of cryptography throughout much of its history. Encryption is the transformation of data into some unreadable form. Its purpose is to ensure privacy by keeping the information hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended. Cryptosystems are often thought to refer only to mathematical procedures and computer programs; however, they also include the regulation of human behaviour, such as choosing hard-to-guess passwords, logging off unused systems, and not discussing sensitive procedures with outsiders. Individuals who practice this field are known as cryptographers.

The Stanford University is going to start a free online course “Cryptography II” with Coursera. This course is a continuation of Crypto I and explains the inner workings of public-key systems and cryptographic protocols. Students will learn how to reason about the security of cryptographic constructions and how to apply this knowledge to real-world applications.The course begins with constructions for digital signatures and their applications. Students will learn about the privacy applications of cryptography supporting anonymous credentials and private database lookup. And conclude with more advanced topics including multi-party computation and elliptic curve cryptography. Throughout the course students will be exposed to many exciting open problems in the field. The course will include written homeworks and optional programming labs. The material is self-contained, but the course assumes knowledge of the topics covered in Crypto I as well as a basic understanding of discrete probability theory.

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Modern cryptography concerns itself with the following four objectives:

-Confidentiality: It means the information cannot be understood by anyone for whom it was unintended.
-Integrity: The information cannot be altered in storage or transit between sender and intended receiver .
-Non-repudiation: In this process creator or sender of the information cannot deny at a later stage of his or her intentions in the creation or transmission of the information.
-Authentication: Here the sender and receiver can confirm each other identity and the origin of the information.

Duration of Course
The course will start from 15th October 2013 for the duration of 6 weeks.

Students should have some knowledge of programming assignments and programming background. Math background is needed for the course; some knowledge of discrete probability will be helpful. The wikibooks article on discrete probability should give sufficient background.

Course Format
The class will consist of lecture videos, which are between 8 and 20 minutes in length. These contain 1-2 integrated quiz questions per video. There will also be standalone homeworks that are not part of video lectures, optional programming assignments and a (not optional) final exam.

Certificate of Accomplishment
Students pass with at least 70 percent in their final exam will receive a statement of accomplishment.

Professor Dan Boneh heads the applied cryptography group at the Computer Science department at Stanford University. He will be the instructor of this course. His research focuses on applications of cryptography to computer security. His work includes cryptosystems with novel properties, web security, security for mobile devices, digital copyright protection and cryptanalysis.