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  Autumn International School
  on Zero Knowledge: Foundations and Applications
  October 28 - November 3, 2006
  University of Bologna Residential Center
  Bertinoro (Forlì), Italy

   Topics | Lecturers | Schedule | Registration
   Important Dates | Location | Organization

Weather Forecasts


The fascinating concept of a Zero-Knowledge proof has been introduced by Goldwasser, Micali and Rackoff (1985). Zero-knowledge proofs are both convincing and yet yield nothing beyond the validity of the assertion being proven. Their applicability in the domain of cryptography is vast: they can be used to force malicious parties to behave according to a predetermined protocol and they found applications in the constructions of secure cryptosystems and digital signature schemes.

The purpose of this school is to give PhD students and others with a general interest in cryptography a deeper understanding of the notion of zero knowledge and of its use in cryptography.

Main subjects covered:

  • Background:
    one-way functions/permutations, trapdoor functions/permutations, indistinguishability, PRG, hard-core bits, commitments.
  • Basic Zero Knowledge I:
    interactive proofs, definitions (auxiliary input ZK, CZK, SZK, PZK), arguments vs. proofs, black box vs. non-black box, honest verifier ZK, need for randomness and interactions.
  • Basic Zero Knowledge II:
    Zero knowledge for NP, proof of knowledge, witness indistinguishability.
  • Round complexity:
    Sequential composition for auxiliary input and non-auxiliary input, constant round ZK, lower bound on number of rounds.
  • Non-Black Box Zero Knowledge:
    Universal arguments, FLS-paradigm, Barak's construction.
  • Non-Interactive ZK:
    NIZK for all NP, NIZK proof of knowledge, ZAP.
  • Additional topics:
    Variations of ZK.
  • Applications of NIZK:
    Secure encryption.

The course is organized by the ECRYPT Network of Excellence, supported by the European Commission and will be held in Bertinoro, Italy, October 28-November 3, 2006. A limited number of stipends for participation are available for students from non-ECRYPT institutions.


Jonathan Katz    University of Maryland (USA)
Yehuda Lindell    Bar-Ilan University (ISRAEL)
Giuseppe Persiano    University of Salerno (ITALY)


  Sat 28 Sun 29 Mon 30 Tue 31 Wed 01 Thu 02 Fri 03
08:00 - 09:00

Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
09:30 - 13:00 Free* Free* Lecture 3
Lecture 5
Lecture 6
Lecture 8
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
14:30 - 18:00 Lecture 1
Lecture 2
Lecture 4
Interreligious Museum
Student Presentations
Lecture 7
19:30 - 20:30 Reception (18:00 - 21:00)
Welcome Buffet (19:30 - 21:00)
Dinner Dinner

Each lecture is around 3 hours long and includes a coffee break.
You can find in Oded Goldreich's homepage useful lecture notes, books and papers.
*The free half-days can be used for studying (rooms and coffee breaks will be available) and/or for excursions.


How to participate: The registration form is not on-line anymore.
Fellowships: A number of ECRYPT grants for the participation will be offered to students from non-ECRYPT institutions. Under special circumstances, participants may receive partial support for travel costs. Please note: these grants are intended for students and young researchers with real financial difficulties. Applicants should first verify that no local funding (eg. research grants) is available to them before applying.
How to apply: fill and send by email, the following form, a curriculum vitae and possibly one recommendation letter to zkschool at gmail.com. Applicants will be notified well in advance of the events.

Important Dates

Arrival: October 28, 2006.
Departure: November 3, 2006.


The school will be held in medieval town of Bertinoro. This town is in Emilia Romagna about 50km east of Bologna at an elevation of about 220m.  Here is a map putting it in context.
The meeting will be held in a redoubtable ex-Episcopal fortress that has been converted by the University of Bologna into a modern conference center with computing facilities and Internet access. 

How to Reach Bertinoro. Read also here.

  1. Roma Fiumicino airport (FCO), then 3 trains from the airport to forli (see www.trenitalia.com, from fiumicino aeroporto to forli, the main train is from Roma main train station to bologna) then bus/taxi to Bertinoro.
  2. Milano Malpensa (MPX), then bus or train+subway to Milano train station, then 2 trains to forli (see www.trenitalia.com, from milano to forli, the main train is from Milano main train station to Bologna) then bus/taxi to Bertinoro.
  3. Bologna (BLQ), see here.
  4. Forli (FRL), then bus/taxi to Bertinoro.
Bus schedule (f = working days, F = non-working days, G = both working and non-working days, S = school day):134; 135.


School Director: Giuseppe Persiano, University of Salerno
Local Organization: Eleonora Campori, Centro Congressi di Bertinoro
Organizers: Giuseppe Persiano, Ivan Visconti, University of Salerno