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Class Summary

Cryptography is present in everyday life, from paying with a credit card to using the telephone. Learn all about making and breaking puzzles in computing.

What Will I Learn?

Explore how secrets are written and shared, as well as what can go wrong when cryptography is misused or implemented badly.

What Should I Know?

This course assumes previous programming experience, comparable to what is covered by the Udacity CS101 course, as well as some understanding of probability and theory of computation and algorithm analysis.

Syllabus

Lesson 1: Perfect Ciphers

What makes certain ciphers perfect, how the Lorenz Cipher was broken

Lesson 2: Symmetric Encryption

Sending messages when two people share a secret

Lesson 3: Key Exchange

Technics to establish a shared secret

Lesson 4: Asymmetric Encryption

Exchanging information using public key cryptosystems

Lesson 5: Public Key Protocols

Encrypted key exchange, certificates, secure commerce

Lesson 6: Using Cryptographic Primitives

How cryptography can be useful for anonymizing communication, voting, and digital cash

Lesson 7: Secure Computation

Computing without exposing data

FAQ

When does the course begin?

This class is self paced. You can begin whenever you like and then follow your own pace. It’s a good idea to set goals for yourself to make sure you stick with the course.

How long will the course be available?

This class will always be available!

How do I know if this course is for me?

Take a look at the “Class Summary,” “What Should I Know,” and “What Will I Learn” sections above. If you want to know more, just enroll in the course and start exploring.

Can I skip individual videos? What about entire lessons?

Yes! The point is for you to learn what YOU need (or want) to learn. If you already know something, feel free to skip ahead. If you ever find that you’re confused, you can always go back and watch something that you skipped.

How much does this cost?

It’s completely free! If you’re feeling generous, we would love to have you contribute your thoughts, questions, and answers to the course discussion forum.

What are the rules on collaboration?

Collaboration is a great way to learn. You should do it! The key is to use collaboration as a way to enhance learning, not as a way of sharing answers without understanding them.

Why are there so many questions?

Udacity classes are a little different from traditional courses. We intersperse our video segments with interactive questions. There are many reasons for including these questions: to get you thinking, to check your understanding, for fun, etc... But really, they are there to help you learn. They are NOT there to evaluate your intelligence, so try not to let them stress you out.

What should I do while I’m watching the videos?

Learn actively! You will retain more of what you learn if you take notes, draw diagrams, make notecards, and actively try to make sense of the material.

Course Instructors

instructor photo

Dave Evans

Instructor

David Evans is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia where he teaches computer science and leads research in computer security. He is the author of an introductory computer science textbook and has won Virginia's highest award for university faculty. He has PhD, SM, and SB degrees from MIT.