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Cardinal Cryptography to Teach Blockchain Fundamentals at Jagiellonian University

Antoni Zolciak


Oct 13, 2020

3 min read

In October 2020, Cardinal Cryptography began to teach blockchain fundamentals at the Jagiellonian University’s Theoretical Computer Science (TCS) department. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious computer science departments in the CEE.

The course is designed to help the students understand the technical aspects of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). While blockchain is already reshaping multiple industries, the market is in constant deficiency of top engineering talent, as well as an in-depth understanding of this emerging technology. As the team behind the novel Aleph Zero blockchain ecosystem, Cardinal Cryptography is humbled to have an opportunity to possibly influence a new generation of innovators.

Cardinal Crypography’s Adam Gagol and Damian Straszak to teach blockchain fundamentals at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.

During this semester-long course, Adam Gagol, Ph.D., and Damian Straszak, Ph.D. will cover the basics of blockchain technology. Topics at hand include a description of cryptographic and distributed computing tools, a high-level understanding of current popular DLT platforms, and the main concepts they are based on, as well as challenges and open problems still left to solve in the space.

The course will not cover crypto-economics or trading. It has been designed solely for the purpose of discussing technology developments.

The course’s initial lesson will begin with the history of Bitcoin and the Nakamoto consensus protocol. During the next few classes the authors will discuss the current approaches to alleviate the Bitcoin scalability and privacy concerns, and later, introduce more advanced concepts such as smart contracts and proofs of computation.

Overall, the course will consist of 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of exercise sessions, and 15 hours of programming assignments.

About Adam Gagol, Ph.D.

Received Ph.D. in mathematics for his work on applications of the probabilistic method in combinatorics. During his doctoral studies, he was a beneficent of a SET project for interdisciplinary research and SSDNM fellowship for mathematical sciences. While his main domain is combinatorics, he is open to new technologies and has 4 years of experience in data science and machine learning applied in neuroscience research. He has been working as a freelance consultant in various areas spanning from mathematical modeling to deep learning. Adam serves as a CTO of Cardinal Cryptography and Aleph Zero. He co-authored a peer-reviewed research behind Aleph’s consensus protocol.

About Damian Straszak, Ph.D.

Obtained a double major Master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Wrocław. Recently defended his Ph.D. thesis in Computer Science at École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The main topics in his research are discrete optimization problems and convex programming. For more than 15 years Damian has been active in the competitive programming scene. In 2013 and 2014 advanced to ACM ICPC World Finals — the World’s most prestigious programming competition — first as a participant and then as a team coach. Involved in organization of several large programming competitions. Damian is one of the core team members behind Cardinal Cryptography and Aleph Zero, as well as a co-author of Aleph’s peer-reviewed consensus protocol research paper.

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