Introduction to Cryptography – Fall 2021

This course is part of the Mastermath program.


Basic knowledge of algebra (including knowledge of groups, rings, fields) and discrete probability theory.

Aim of the course

This Master’s level course provides an introduction to modern cryptography, the science of securing communication and computation against different forms of adversarial behaviors. A preliminary outline of the course is as follows. We will start with basic concepts of cryptographic theory such as one-way functions. We will see how to leverage one-wayness to generate pseudorandomness and discuss implications to complexity theory. Subsequently, we will look at different notions of symmetric-key primitives including symmetric-key encryption, message authentication codes and collision-resistant hash functions. To construct public-key encryption schemes we will build on number-theoretic and algebraic hardness assumptions. We will then move on to authentication (and beyond) and discuss digital signature schemes, sigma protocols and zero-knowledge proofs. The final block of the course will be dedicated to the basics of secure multi-party computation.


Lisa Kohl (Cryptology Group, CWI Amsterdam), Lisa.Kohl(at)

Teaching assistants

Nicolas Resch, Aron van Baarsen, Pedro Capitão


The course will take place on Thursdays, 14:00 – 16:45 (week 37-51).


This class has no required textbook. Relevant material and additional reading can be found in Introduction to Modern Cryptography by Jonathan Katz and Yehuda Lindell and in Foundations of Cryptography by Oded Goldreich.

Final exam

There will be a final exam.

Rules about homework

It will be possible to earn a bonus of up to 1P for the final mark through homework. The bonus will only count if the grade for the exam is at least 5.0 before the bonus. The bonus will also count towards the retake in the same term.

Lecture notes

Lecture notes, slides and recordings of the lecture are published on Zulip (Channel #ItCf21).


In case you have any comments regarding the lecture, you can use the feedback form:

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