CIS 556, Fall 2018
Final Project

For the research project, you should try to do something nontrivial, tractable, and open. If you're more theoretical, you can try to prove an extension of existing work, or do a theoretical analysis of something related to cryptography. If you're more applied, you can design and analyze a protocol to solve some new problem, implement an interesting algorithm, or do a cryptography-related experimental or measurement study.

If you have any questions about scope, or want ideas or suggestions, feel free to send an email or come to office hours.

Project Proposal (due 10/31)

Please write a 1-page proposal listing the following and submit to Canvas. (One per group.)


Presentations will be held during class time on 11/28 and 12/3.

Final Paper (due 12/13)

Your final report should be written in the style of an academic paper, typeset in LaTeX, 10-15 pages. The usual components of a paper are:

Project Ideas

  1. Look through the programs of Crypto 2018, Eurocrypt 2018, Asiacrypt 2018, Real World Crypto 2018, or the ePrint Archives and find something that interests you.

  2. Post-Quantum Cryptography

    The NIST post-quantum cryptography competition is ongoing. Pick one or more submissions to the NIST competition and analyze the proposal and implementation.

  3. Law enforcement access to encrypted data

    There is an ongoing debate about designing cryptographic systems to provide law enforcement access to encrypted data. Several researchers have sketched schemes that attempt to provide some of these capabilities. Formalize the requirements for such a system and analyze one or more of the proposed systems in light of your formalization.

  4. Cryptographic backdoors and mass surveillance

    Analyze current examples of cryptographic backdoors from a formal perspective and evaluate the vulnerability of current systems.

  5. Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, etc.

    Brett Hemenway has a long list of projects in this area that he's interested in having students work on.