Though it cannot be called exactly a course on Bitcoin, it is definitely a course that will help you understand the currency and answer several questions about Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The step from Stanford University which united with educational platform Coursera to provide the Cryptography I and II courses for free has been appreciated.
The best part of the course is that an unlimited number of students from all around the world can virtually attend the lectures given by Dan Boneh, Professor of Computer Science. The university believes that cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems.
The fundamental aim of the course from the University of Stanford is to explain the inner workings of cryptographic primitives and how to correctly use them. In the course, students will be taught how to reason about the security of cryptographic construction and how to apply this knowledge to real-world applications.
According to the syllabus of the course, first it will teach students how two parties who have a shared secret key can communicate securely when a powerful adversary eavesdrops and tampers with traffic. The course will also examine many deployed protocols and analyze mistakes in existing systems – this will be the first part of the course.
On the other hand, the second half of the course discusses public-key techniques that let two or more parties generate a shared secret key. The comprehensive course will cover the relevant number theory and discuss public-key encryption and basic key-exchange. Thus, with the course on cryptography all students will be exposed to many exciting open problems in the field.
Knowledge of Programming Will Help the Participating Students
In its release, the university made it clear that the course will include written home-works and programming labs. Though, the course is self-contained, it will be helpful to have a basic understanding of discrete probability theory. The first is already on as it begun on April 1, the second for June 21. Both programs are 6 weeks long requiring about 5-8 hours of work/week.
Answering to the question about the requirement of the knowledge of programming for the course, the university in its FAQ said that the course includes programming assignments and some programming background will be helpful. All the participating students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org