NYSMTP Statewide Livestream Mini-Course Registration: Modern Cryptography: Protecting Communications, Data and Privacy

HOST CAMPUS: Stony Brook University
Dates: Thursday's, April 12, 19, 26, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Assistant Professor: Dr. Omkant Pandey, Department of Computer Science, Stony Brook University

Professor Omkant Pandey is a faculty member in the Computer Science department at Stony Brook University. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and is currently engaged in research in theoretical computer science. Specifically, he focuses his research on cryptography and computer security.

This mini-course will begin with a description of how, in different ways, information transmitted via computer can be encrypted and then decrypted on the receiving end. We will then discuss subtle nuances regarding how secure of an encryption scheme is secure enough. For example, early encryption schemes did not consider the case of an attacker who may be able to change an encrypted message without being able to decrypt it first. This created many problems when such encryption was used in designing secure solutions for digital applications. We will also discuss the provable security of these schemes, which is a scientific way to asses the security of the given encryption scheme. We will then discuss how our expectations regarding what encryption can do for us have changed over time and talk about next-generation schemes such as function encryption which allows the data to be probed only in a particular way (such as computing the average or the maxima and minima, etc.) using special mathematical keys designed for that particular purpose only. If time permits, we will briefly talk about cryptographic protocols such as zero-knowledge proofs that demonstrate the validity of a statement without revealing any secret information (e.g., digitally prove to someone that you know an RSA secret-key to decrypt the data without revealing the key itself).

Dr. Pandey’s research is focused on how to encrypt information so it is secure and to design methods to determine just how secure it is. The course will review basic background and then describe current concepts and strategies in computer science.

*The first session of this mini-course is geared toward all teachers. The second and third are more complex and may appeal more to teachers with a strong mathematics background, but should be of interest to all teachers.

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