Stanford Free Cryptography online course – week 2 experience


I am taking Free Stanford Online “Introduction to Cryptography par 1” course (6 weeks duration). I came across this course from other blogger’s site. Today was the end of week 2. So far my experience with the course has been very challenging. The concept is not too difficult to understand, but the theory, because cryptography is based on the mathematics and statistics, is explained in mathematics and statistics symbols, which I haven’t paid attention quite some time and those blew away in week 1.  Even though video lectures don’t take more than 4 hours/week, I still have to rewind many times because professor is going really fast and assuming students know the basics.

In week 1, I just dived into the video lecture right away and was surprised to see the lecture style was like the university classroom, not like public continuing online course style – definitely not for everyone. Without any prerequisite, I thought it wasn’t going to be hard, but I found myself still struggling in week 2. Just spent great amount of time on Saturday to figure out the week 1 quiz and didn’t get the satisfying score. I have 3 more times to try and improve my score on quiz 1, so I will try again this week.


One thing I realized today was that I wasn’t applying any of the MMOST techniques. Maybe because it is a video lecture and not a book, so I couldn’t skim through the topics and couldn’t exercise the “Hooks” to capture the main concept. Maybe I thought I was in a hurry and wanted to get the concept down quickly. Regardless, I learned that I wasn’t well prepared for this course.  Today, after second half of week 2 lectures, I found the better way of taking the lecture. I previewed the PPT slides and listened the lecture afterward. This actually reduced the overall studying time. I didn’t have to rewind video lecture as much as I did in week 1.


People from the forum made my eyes open to the “Free Learning”. So far, my learning resource has been limited to online resources, books, and classroom courses. However, I learned other good quality learning opportunities are available online. I’d like to share these resources.


I feel keeping up with my commitment is important. Especially something that I wanted and decided to do. I will share my experience again after I complete this course.