Through its Education track, the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency has supported the launch and redesign of five new courses to be added to the Engineering and Business Schools’ curriculum.

  • Blockchains and their applications (co-taught by Professors A. Biliris and E. Tromer, Computer Science, SEAS/DSI) - offered in Fall 2019, coming Spring 2021

  • An Introduction to Blockchain Technology (taught by Professor X. Wang, Electrical Engineering, SEAS) - offered in the Spring
  • Foundations of Blockchain (taught by T. Roughgarden, Computer Science, SEAS/DSI) - offered in the Fall
  • Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies (taught by G. Huberman, Business School) - offered in the Spring
  • Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and Systems (taught by R. Geambasu and J. Wing, Computer Science, SEAS/DSI) - coming Spring 2022

Our courses have different, but complementary approaches. Students at Columbia now have a variety of options to study and gain in-depth knowledge about blockchain technology, from a scientific and technical perspective, as well as from a business perspective.

Blockchain and its applications (A. Biliris and E. Tromer)

The course aims to provide a systematic overview of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies and their applications in various industries. Students will work on group projects to gain a greater understanding of the underlying decentralized ledger technologies and their potential.

Introduction to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies (G. Huberman)

The course’s goal is to familiarize students with the new and potentially revolutionary world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain thereby fostering a dialogue between the technologies’ engineers and developers and the people responsible for its business implementations. See syllabus.

Foundations of Blockchain (T. Roughgarden)

The course will provide a first-of-its-kind introduction to the mathematical analysis of blockchain protocols, including the relevant tools and definitions from game theory, economics, and distributed computing. The lectures will constitute a novel and accessible synthesis of the state-of-the-art and give Columbia students a unique edge for doing original research in the field. The instructor will also identify a number of concrete research projects to be carried out by the students in teams, ideally leading to publishable research in the area. See course outline.

An Introduction to Blockchain Technology (X. Wang)

This proposed course will introduce the technical foundations of blockchain and its applications to a wide range of industries including finance, computer science, supply chain, smart power grid and social networking. The Objective of this course is to provide students with the required knowledge to conduct research in blockchain and basic skills to design smart contracts and implement distributed applications (DAPPs). For more information on this course see Syllabus and Labs.

Privacy-Enhancing Technologies and Systems (R. Geambasu and J. Wing)

Data scientists and engineers have significant ethical and legal responsibilities to protect the privacy and best interests of the customers whose data they collect and use. This class will discuss these responsibilities, the challenges of meeting them in practice and when faced with malicious behavior, and a set of technologies that can be used to enhance privacy, accountability, fairness, and data protection in big data systems. A particular focus (and unique aspect) of this class will be to look at technologies with a systems perspective of incorporating them into real data infrastructure systems. The course will include a homework series that will give students hands-on experience with the threats and challenges in big data protection and use, plus practical application of protective technologies in real-world big data systems.

Comparative Chart