CS 388H: Cryptography

University of Texas at Austin – Fall 2021


This course surveys the foundations of cryptography from formal notions of security to fundamental protocols, including one-way functions, encryption, pseudorandom generators, signature schemes, and zero-knowledge. At the end of the semester, we will focus on an in-depth exploration of cryptographic proof systems.

Meeting Time and Place

Location: GDC 6.202 or Zoom (via Canvas)
Time: Monday, Wednesday, 3:30pm-5:00pm

Note: This course supports attendance in-person and over Zoom. All in-person sessions will also be available live via Zoom and recordings will be posted here. You are encouraged to participate in the course by either attending the in-person meeting or by joining the live Zoom session. If you are unable to attend live (either in person or via Zoom), then you can watch the recordings to access the lecture material. Lecture notes will also be posted here after each lecture.


Canvas: We will use Canvas, which includes links to Piazza (for announcements and class discussions), Gradescope (for assignment submission and grading), and Zoom (for attending lectures remotely and accessing lecture recordings).

Piazza: We will use Piazza for class discussions and for sending out course announcements. If you have a question about the course material or course logistics, please post it on Piazza instead of emailing the course staff directly.

Gradescope: Homework submissions will be handled via Gradescope. You should be automatically enrolled in the course via Canvas once the semester starts.

Homework: Please see the Course Organization and Policies page for details on how to format and submit your homeworks as well as the collaboration policy for the course.


This is a theory course and we will assume that you are comfortable with mathematical proofs. We recommend that you have taken a theory of computation course (e.g., CS 353) and an algorithms course (e.g., CS 331). A basic understanding of probability theory (e.g., MATH 362K) and modular arithmetic will also be helpful.

Reference Material

Throughout the semester, we will post additional reference material here:


The structure and material of this course is inspired by Stanford's CS 255 and CS 355 courses.