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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Cryptography I by Stanford University

4.8
stars
3,689 ratings
778 reviews

About the Course

Cryptography is an indispensable tool for protecting information in computer systems. In this course you will learn the inner workings of cryptographic systems and how to correctly use them in real-world applications. The course begins with a detailed discussion of how two parties who have a shared secret key can communicate securely when a powerful adversary eavesdrops and tampers with traffic. We will examine many deployed protocols and analyze mistakes in existing systems. The second half of the course discusses public-key techniques that let two parties generate a shared secret key. Throughout the course participants will be exposed to many exciting open problems in the field and work on fun (optional) programming projects. In a second course (Crypto II) we will cover more advanced cryptographic tasks such as zero-knowledge, privacy mechanisms, and other forms of encryption....

Top reviews

BH
Jan 13, 2020

Provides a comprehensive introduction to cryptographic history, current technology, best practices and known attacker techniques. A great deal of material is covered in a relatively compact program.

BC
Mar 10, 2017

Cutting edge cryptography topics. Good explanations and slides, but pause button is highly recommended. Can be a bit too mathematical for the general public, and not very formal for mathematicians.

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26 - 50 of 765 Reviews for Cryptography I

By Mani K N

Sep 20, 2020

The best course for the cryptography. As a beginner it took some time for me to understand, I had to revisit few sections again to get clear understanding. But the content was the highlight of the course and it was delivered in an excellent way. Looking forward to the next course

By HRM

Sep 12, 2020

This is the best course on the cryptography which help me to learn relative basic topics. Thank professor for his presentation. Let me say again, it is very very very helpful for people who are interested in cryptography. It is necessary to review this course again and again.

By Blake H

Jan 14, 2020

Provides a comprehensive introduction to cryptographic history, current technology, best practices and known attacker techniques. A great deal of material is covered in a relatively compact program.

By kartik j

Aug 9, 2020

Very Boring.

By Flavio P

Jul 15, 2017

Really interesting, provides the basic grounds for understanding a lot of discussions out there. Wikipedia can be useful as a reference, but here I was able to learn about semantic security etc.

By Yash R K

Jul 31, 2016

I am very happy and satisfied pursuing this course. I love it. Cryptography is one of the very important concepts in Computer Science and just loved to have the course from Stanford University.

By José d J G R

Aug 4, 2016

This is just a great course. The subject was new to me, and while it was difficult, I learned a lot and actually got a good grade.

Prof. Boneh is engaging and very clear in his explanations.

By Santosh M

Feb 19, 2019

One of the finest online courses I have attended. Very detailed explanation with examples. Very good and highly recommended for beginners.

Thank you Prof. Dan Boneh

By Deleted A

Sep 18, 2020

I think it interesting the course teaches you how Xor gates are used in cryptography

By Sebastiao B

Jan 15, 2019

Very good course. Expectant for level II

By Michael S

Sep 18, 2020

Very informative and well taught.

By Ben

Sep 15, 2019

This is an excellent and challenging course that covers the basics of symmetric key cryptography, authenticated encryption, and public key cryptography. These topics are covered from both mathematical (notions and proofs of security) and computational (algorithmic running times, attacks) perspectives. The material is well-selected and progresses in a logical manner. Many of the key ideas are reinforced through their recurrence throughout the course in different contexts. The individual lectures also have a very natural flow: I would find myself wondering something about the topic under discussion, only to have my precise question answered moments later. Mathematical proofs are often given in a somewhat high-level, intuitive way but without truly sacrificing rigour. The in-lecture questions are well-chosen to force you to really think about the material under discussion and the quizzes, although sometimes challenging, are interesting and help teach material left out or only brushed over in the lectures.

There are also optional programming problems, which were quite instructive. A couple of these involve implementing attacks on insecure cryptographic protocols; a successful implementation would lead to the decryption of an encrypted message, which I found to be not only extremely rewarding, but also especially instructive (much more so than simply implementing a cryptographic protocol, which was the goal of at least one assignment). I found it a bit strange that these highly relevant assignments were optional, however. I suppose this is perhaps so that a programming language is not a prerequisite for the course. However, I think several ideas in lectures would be rather difficult to understand without programming knowledge and in any case the level of mathematical maturity demanded for this course is much more of a requirement than some basic programming ability.

My main complaint really regards the speed at which most lectures are given. It seems to me quite unfortunate that so many hours of excellent lectures were recorded at such a speed that you're basically forced to slow the lectures down (which sounds strange) or pause every few seconds in order to digest the material properly. In a university classroom, you have a fixed amount of time to deliver material, but there's simply no reason to go so fast in an online course.

By Oleg L

Jul 23, 2017

Course was very fun to learn, and the instructor was very clear and concise with the lecture. I was slightly unprepared for the difficulty level and math involved, but reviewing the videos and discussion group cleared things up. Do not attempt this course without prior knowledge of some discrete math, otherwise it was a very in-depth course which covered many topics, and I would recommend it to peers.

By Andrea G

Mar 13, 2018

Not a trival course, you should definitively pause the lessons several times in order to take notes.Some of the exams are far to be trivial. A little bit too theoretical, but gave me a good insight of topics I need to understand in my professional life. I would definitively recommend it

By Abhimanyu R

Aug 5, 2018

Very Deep math and at time becomes very confusing!

By Aleksandr L

Jan 3, 2021

To much of theoretical knowledge, it lacks practical assignments. Also most of the stuff promised in preface is not in this course, but included in Cryptography II, which is a different course.

Course provides some sort of overview of basic primitives, but without mandatory and relevant practical assignments this knowledge is unfortunately nearly worthless.

By Vaibhav D

Dec 8, 2019

Unnecessary questions are asked

By Samuel L

Jul 31, 2020

There's some good information in here, but it's way too mathematical for people who don't have a maths background. I have studied computer science but never liked maths, and I find the assessments confusing. There's a lot of maths discussion in the videos too that's equally puzzling and the focus is on theory as opposed to real world applications of cryptography. You can know a lot about cryptography without having to fully understand the maths behind it. If you're interested in learning about cryptography for the purposes of programming, then I suggest using another course which isn't as theoretical. There are a lot of better free online resources for beginners and non-maths students.

By Michael W

Jun 21, 2020

Expected Cryptography I to be a beginner's course since it is Cryptography "One". However, this is anything but a beginner's course. From the first week the lectures assume the student already has basic knowledge of cryptography and just continues from there. The biggest issue with this course is that there are no examples of how to work through problems. Way back in the beginning, the professor lectured about breaking many-time pads, but never actually provided concrete examples on how to go about doing this. If you're looking for an intro course as someone who has no knowledge on cryptography, this is not that course.

By Alex W

Apr 24, 2021

The course assumes a solid understanding of university mathematics. I see reviews saying he just makes up mathematical notation, but he isn't, the professor assumes an understanding of Discrete Mathematics. If you haven't taken a Group Theory or Rings and Fields class you will not understand this course. It's not written anywhere, and the professor never says it. You are better off reading a textbook.

By Ryan T

May 27, 2020

This course does an excellent job of explaining the fundamentals of cryptography and showing real-life applications built on these constructions. Moreover, it provides the student with useful abstractions and frameworks for evaluating the security of cryptographic constructions. What I really enjoyed about this course was getting my hands dirty with some of the programming exercises. Each week has a programming exercise, some of which give you an opportunity to leverage well-known vulnerabilities to mount attacks on various cryptographic constructions.

I gained a deep appreciation for the science, as well as the art, of cryptography from this course. I'm excited to learn more in the second course this fall to expand upon the concepts introduced in this course.

One thing that I think is worth mentioning, however, is that you should really expect this course to take up around 10-15 hours of your time per week (depending on your commitment and speed with completing the programming exercises). The course material is very dense, and there are some mathematical concepts later in the course that may take you some time to wrap your head around if you are unfamiliar with or haven't had recent exposure to them. I say this because Coursera provides its own estimates for each part of the course (lecture, quiz, programming exercise), but you should know that these are completely inaccurate. The lecture videos are rich with content and move very quickly, so you will need to pause them frequently to catch up on notes and absorb the concepts.

By Istvan S

Sep 4, 2017

This is a fabulous course. Professor Boneh did an admirable job teaching the basics of modern Cryptography. Modern Cryptography was born at Stanford University founded by Martin Hellman and two students. It used at first intuitive ideas linking complexity theory to cryptography. The old cryptography, that is cryptography at around the Second World War was a a rigorous theory based on Information Theory and founded by Claude Shannon. Modern cryptography was based on the idea that if a cryptographic system cannot be broken in billions of years, then it is for all practical purposes just as secure as a theoretically unbreakable system. In the last 30 years or so the proper definitions were found to make this intuitive idea precise, making modern cryptography a rigorous science. Professor Boneh presents this rigorous theory in this course.

By Yuval G

Nov 9, 2016

The course is very interesting and very challenging,

As an firmware engineer who never had the chance to learn Crypto. the course gave me a grate introduction to this field.

It is very fascinating to understand the different Crypto. methods and their vulnerabilities, and it made me more aware and gave me the ability to evaluate strength of Crypto. systems that I encounter.

Before every topic there were a detailed overview on the Math theory required to learn it, the explanations followed by real life examples and it feels like the team put a lot of effort to make the lectures comfortable and easy to follow.

The Homework are challenging and very help-hull to understand the learned topics.

By Advaith G

Aug 24, 2020

I took this course right before starting my undergraduate degree in Computer Science. While I would agree that the level of difficulty was high, and the mathematics was very detailed, I can honestly say that the professor does a very good job explaining it. I took detailed notes from the beginning and reading the references combined with paying attention to the lectures really helped me understand the concepts really well. The problem sets were amazing and tested a thorough understanding of the topics which made them very fun to solve. I would recommend this course for anyone looking to get into cryptography who doesn't mind putting a lot of effort into learning the basics of the field.

By Gregory V

Nov 13, 2017

Outstanding coverage, very fast paced.

I enrolled in this course to gain an understanding of cryptography beyond material designed for the consumption of the non-technical audience. The lectures by Prof. Boheh were very clear and well organized, with emphasis on fundamental definitions. The section on basic number theory was most helpful. While taking the course, I was also learning the Python programming language, so I attempted most of the optional programming assignments in Python. This reinforced the material a great deal. I will recomment this course highly and will definitely enroll in Cryptography II when it becomes available.

Thank you for a great learning experience.