Math 480A2: Mathematics of Blockchain, Fall 2022

Welcome! This mathematics, cryptography, and theoretical computer science course will aim to introduce the theory of succinct non-interactive arguments of knowledge (SNARKs), including necessary background in abstract algebra, cryptographic primitives, and verifiable computation. This topic has extensive applications in production software used in the developing cryptocurrency and decentralized finance industries, and during the course we will aim to develop the theory sufficiently to study and understand the mechanics of at least one currently deployed SNARK system. For details on grading, policies, and a tentative weekly schedule, please see the course syllabus.

Instructor: Bryan Gillespie,
Class time and location: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00-9:15 am, C364 Clark Building
Office Hours: Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 am and Thursdays 11:30-12:30 am, 119 Weber Building
Textbook: Proofs, Arguments, and Zero-Knowledge by Justin Thaler

Homework Assignments

Assignments will be posted here in PDF and LaTeX format throughout the course.

Week # Topic Due Date PDF TeX
1 Freivalds' Algorithm Sep. 1 PDF TeX
2 Rings, Ideals, and Polynomials Sep. 8 PDF TeX
3 Algebraic Field Extensions and Irreducible Polynomials Sep. 15 PDF TeX
4 Finite Fields Sep. 22 PDF TeX
5 Elliptic Curve Arithmetic and Bézout's Theorem Sep. 29 PDF TeX