The 9th BIU Winter School on Cryptography

Zero Knowledge

February 18-21, 2019

School Overview

Zero knowledge is a fundamental tool of cryptography, in both theory and practice. It enables a party to prove an assertion without revealing anything but the fact that it is indeed true. The theory of zero-knowledge proofs has beautiful connections to complexity and is used to prove many basic theoretical results of cryptography. In addition, efficient zero-knowledge proofs have many applications, including efficient secure computation, advanced authentication schemes like anonymous credentials, transaction validation, and more.

In the 9th BIU Winter School on Cryptography, we will study the theory and practice of zero-knowledge proofs. The program will cover definitional issues and constructions. The following topics will be included:

1) Foundations of zero-knowledge: motivation and definitions, zero-knowledge for NP, witness indistinguishability, constant-round arguments and proofs, non-interactive zero-knowledge, the Fiat-Shamir paradigm, lower bounds and limitations, and non-black-box zero-knowledge.

2) Sigma protocols

3) MPC in the head

4) Zero knowledge and non-interactive zero-knowledge from Bilinear maps

5) Short zero knowledge: SNARKs and STARKs

The winter school program is designed to teach the topic from its basics up to the latest research. The target audience for the school is graduate students and postdocs in cryptography (we will assume that participants have taken at least one university-level course in cryptography). However, all faculty, undergrads and professionals with the necessary background are welcome. The winter school is open to participants from all over the world; all talks will be in English.

School Lecturers 

  • Eli Ben-Sasson, Technion, Israel
  • Jens Groth, University College London, UK
  • Carmit Hazay, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  • Yuval Ishai, Technion, Israel
  • Yehuda Lindell, Bar-Ilan University
  • Benny Pinkas, Bar-Ilan, Israel
  • Alon Rosen, IDC Herzliya, Israel

Additional Information

OrganizersYehuda Lindell and Benny Pinkas Department of Computer Science,  Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

Where: The winter school will take place at the Rayman hall at Kfar Hamaccabiah events & conference center in Ramat Gan

When: Monday, February 18, 2019 to Thursday, February 21, 2019

Registration: Due to rising costs, registration is 750 shekels for the entire school. Registration is free for overseas participants (due to costs already incurred due to travel). Israeli participants who have difficulty paying the registration fee can request a waiver; please include this in the special request box in the registration form. After registration has been confirmed, Israeli participants will receive a link to carry out the payment. Registration will be considered complete only after payment.

Registration includes school participation, lunch, refreshments and the excursion (accommodation is not included).

Please register by January 10, 2019.

Registration form is available here.

Contact: For any questions or queries, please send an e-mail to:

Hotel: We have arranged a special rate at the Kfar Hamaccabiah Hotel where the conference center is located. The rate is $175 a night for a single room, $195 a night for a double room (with two occupants) and $225 for a triple room (with three occupants). The rate includes breakfast. Hotel reservation form will be available soon.

Sponsorship: This winter school is graciously sponsored by the BIU Center for Research in Applied Cryptography and Cyber Security in conjunction with the Israel National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office, the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n. 615172 (HIPS) and the Alter family.

Program Schedule

Monday, February 18 – Part 1- Foundations of ZK

  • Alon Rosen: Introduction to Zero Knowledge
  • Alon Rosen: Zero Knowledge for All NP
  • Alon Rosen: Witness Indistinguishability and Constant-Round Arguments
  • Alon Rosen: Constant-Round Zero-Knowledge Proofs
  • Yehuda Lindell: Proofs of Knowledge
  • TBA: Non-Interactive Zero-Knowledge

Tuesday, February 19 – Part 1- Foundations of ZK (cont.) & Part 2-Techniques for Efficient ZK

  • TBA:  The Fiat-Shamir Transform
  • Alon Rosen: Lower Bounds and Limitations on Zero Knowledge
  • Alon Rosen: Non Black-Box Zero Knowledge (Barak’s Protocol)
  • TBA: New Directions and/or Advanced Topics in the Foundations of ZK
  • Benny Pinkas: Sigma Protocols (Part 1)

Wednesday, February 20 – Part 2-Techniques for Efficient ZK (cont.)

  • Benny Pinkas: Sigma Protocols (Part 2)
  • Yuval Ishai: MPC in the Head – Compilers for ZK: an Overview
  • Carmit Hazay: MPC in the Head – ZK from MPC: Constructions and Applications
  • Excursion

Thursday, February 21 – Part 2-Techniques for Efficient ZK (cont.)

  • Jens Groth: ZK and NIZK from Bilinear Maps (part 1)
  • Jens Groth: ZK and NIZK from Bilinear Maps (part 2)
  • Jens Groth: ZK and NIZK from Bilinear Maps (part 3)
  • Eli Ben-Sasson: Short ZK – SNARKs and STARKs (part 1)
  • Eli Ben-Sasson: Short ZK – SNARKs and STARKs (part 2)
  • Eli Ben-Sasson: Short ZK – SNARKs and STARKs (part 3)
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