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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Secure Distributed Systems


This is a class devoted to the study of securing distributed systems, with blockchain-based cryptocurrencies serving as our real platform of interest. We'll start with the fundamentals of Lamport's, Fischer's, and Douceur's results that fence-in all consensus system, and discuss Byzantine fault tolerance. We'll also look at the efficiency of the network architectures for peer-to-peer;distributed system communication and attacks on their security, such as denial of service attacks. And we'll review relevant applied cryptography such as elliptic curves. We'll discuss in detail the mechanisms of Bitcoin and Ethereum and we'll program distributed applications for Ethereum. Other topics include economics and finance. The course is based on a 'flipped classroom.'
Course Details

Fall 2021


Integrated Sciences Bldg 221
Sep 1, 2021 - Dec 8, 2021
1:00 - 2:15 pm
Base Cost: $2,280 ($760/credit)
Term Fee: $50
Start date: Sep 01, 2021
End date: Dec 08, 2021
Last day to add: Sep 15, 2021
Last day to drop: Sep 15, 2021
Last day to withdraw: Oct 28, 2021