Grad Courses

Our graduate blockchain courses seek to train future leaders in blockchain — both as computer scientists and as financial leaders.

  • Our computer-science course, CSE 442, goes in-depth into the mathematical and computing concepts that are the foundation of blockchain.  Reading of current papers — both academic research papers and significant posts by blockchain leaders — goes beyond the foundations to allow students to begin their own contributions to advancing blockchain technology .
  • The CSB 442 course is designed to support the Lehigh Master of Science in Financial Engineering, but is open to other graduate students as well.  It includes the mathematics and computing that provide the foundation of blockchain technology, and provides a deep exploration of financial applications and policy issues.
  • Our blockchain projects course allows graduate students to purse in-depth a single project for one or more semesters.  Students may work individually or in teams, but all students in this course meet regularly to share successes, to assist each other with challenges, and to discuss interesting developments in the field


CSE 442 – Advanced Blockchain Systems and Theory

Description: Formal foundations of blockchain systems: cryptography, consensus, zero-knowledge proofs, transaction processing both on-chain and cross-chain, validation, and governance. Algorithms and data structures for blockchain systems. Programming paradigms for smart contracts. Current research in blockchain drawing from the cryptography, database, operating system, and parallel computing research communities.  offered alternate fall semesters.


CSB 442 – Blockchain: Mathematical Foundations and Financial Applications 

Technical and mathematical foundations of blockchain (algorithms, data structures, cryptography) with application to finance. Blockchain properties (immutability, irrefutability), security, consensus (proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, Byzantine consensus). Blockchain governance and trust models. Blockchain and finance: policy, regulation, compliance, systemic risk, relative power of nation-states, the role of central banks, economic justice. Broader impacts in such areas as foreign policy, surveillance and individual freedoms, non-financial applications. Smart contract coding and issues in blockchain software development. Lab experience interacting with a blockchain. Offered alternate fall semesters.


CSE 498 – Blockchain Projects

Description: Each student in the course will work on a pre-specified project related to blockchain systems and/or applications.  The projects can be either individual or in small groups.  In addition to project work, course requirements include one 75-minute class meeting in which each project team presents updates on status, progress, and open problems, and one student is selected for a longer prepared presentation.   Each project has a second meeting each week with the course instructor for a more in-depth discussion.  Grading is based on project results and participation in presentations.  This course may be repeated for credit.  Offered every semester.