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Zero Knowledge Bootcamp

Conquer the fearsome math and code zk algorithms from scratch

Next Cohort:

12th Aug 2024

08:00AM EDT

“I expect ZK-SNARKs to be a significant revolution as they permeate the mainstream world over the next 10-20 years.”

Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum’s inventor

11 weeks of live online classes

Zero knowledge proofs (ZK proofs) have two incredible properties: 

  • They allow privacy preservation in ways that were previously impossible, and 

  • They allow the computation to be verified faster than the original computation. 

This allows for the Ethereum blockchain to scale up because validators don’t have to re-run all the transactions to ensure they are valid — they just need to check the proofs.



 

Unfortunately, like all new technologies, learning zero knowledge is not easy. But that’s what this Zero knowledge course is for!

This course is not simply about writing applications in zero knowledge programming languages, but acquiring such a comprehensive understanding of the subject that you can write a zero knowledge proof algorithm from scratch.
Zero Knowledge Book

We will cover applied zero knowledge programming, of course, but the real value of this course is deeply understanding the foundations that have stumped learners for years.

Next Cohort:

12th Aug 2024

08:00AM EDT

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Isn’t abstract algebra hard to learn?

We don’t think so. If you have a STEM major or taught yourself how to code, you’ll be able to learn the parts you need. Abstract algebra isn’t useful because of its complexity (it’s not complex), but because of its generalizability. We will only cover elementary abstract algebra, equivalent to two or three chapters in a lightweight textbook.

Don't zk proofs require moon math?

No, only bilinear pairings can rightfully be considered moon math. The rest requires math every 1st year undergraduate STEM major knows (or can easily learn). But armed with abstract algebra, you’ll be able to literally abstract away the complexity and focus on the practical aspects.

Prerequisites

You should be familiar with the following before starting

Python and numpy. Basic experience with Jupyter Notebooks is highly recommended.

You need to have taken a course on linear algebra before. It’s okay if you’ve forgotten it, we will give you some refresher materials, but to really appreciate abstract algebra, you need to have seen at least two fields of “traditional” algebra. We will also take it for granted that you know how matrix multiplication and the dot product works.

You should know what Z.K.-S.N.A.R.K. stands for and what each term means. We will not waste time explaining to you why zk-snarks are important, hopefully, you know that already.

Being familiar with Solidity, yul assembly, and ABI encoding will be helpful for completing the assignments. If you do not come from a smart contract programming background, we have a separate set of assignments for you to enforce the concepts as a replacement for the Solidity ones. The course is taught from the perspective of a Solidity developer, but blockchain developers from other chains like Solana can benefit too, even those from a non-web3 technical background such as machine learning engineers.

Zero Knowledge Curriculum

11 Weeks

Last Updated: May 2024

Week 1: Algebraic Structures

Sets, semigroups, monoids, groups, abelian groups, cyclic groups, rings, and fields.

Week 2: Homomorphisms and Modular Arithmetic

Galois fields, Galois field arithmetic, homomorphic encryption.

Week 3: Introduction to Elliptic Curves and ECDSA

Why elliptic curve addition is closed. Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm.

Week 4: BN128 Curve Arithmetic

Elliptic Curve addition, scalar multiplication, point negation.

Week 5: Bilinear Pairings

Optimal ate pairing, G1, G2, and G12, EIP-197, symmetric and asymmetric pairings, final exponentiate.

Week 6: Arithmetic Circuits

Witnesses, computation vs verification.

Week 7: Rank 1 Constraint Systems

Rank 1 Constraint Systems, ZK-NARKS (non-succinct ZK Proofs).

Week 8: Quadratic Arithmetic Programs

Schwartz-Zippel Lemma, Polynomial and Column Vector Rings, Lagrange Interpolation, target polynomial.

Week 9: Evaluating Polynomials at Elliptic Curve Points

Polynomials as inner products, evaluating polynomials without knowing x.

Week 10: Groth16 Part 1

Proof forgery, alpha, beta, trusted setup.

Week 11: Groth16 Part 2

Gamma, delta, salts, end-to-end Groth16.

Weekly Live Classes

Our instructors are industry experts with extensive experience in smart contract development and auditing. They are
dedicated to helping you succeed through one-on-one mentorship, code reviews, and weekly live office hours. And benefits

from their extensive experience and passion for teaching while engaging in interactive, real-time sessions.

Jeffrey Scholz

Founder | Lead Instructor

Jeffrey is the instructor of the only two
expert-level Ethereum development
courses on Udemy, both of which are
bestsellers. His blog on Ethereum
development has significantly influenced
major projects in the web3 space.

Success Stories from Our Alumni

Our students, from web3 technical founders to lead solidity developers, have seen tremendous success after completing our bootcamps. With over 8 figures of funding collectively raised by our alumni for their technical web3 startups, their achievements stand testament to the quality of our programs.

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" If you have ever felt FOMO from all the zk moon math talk, just take RareSkills zk bootcamp."

If you have ever felt FOMO from all the zk moon math talk, just take RareSkills zk bootcamp. Yes, they have published superb free public reading materials, but you will learn much better with live, well-paced customized lessons, and the 1:1 homework feedback. Even if you do not have concrete plans to use zk in your professional work, the zk bootcamp will help you achieve a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the EVM ecosystem in general. Take the dive.

Vectorized.eth
Protocol Lead | Author of Solady | Maintainer of ERC721a
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Onboarding Process

Submit an Application

Decision

Payment

Access to Calendar events, Slack & Course material

Day 1 of class

Price

Starter Tier

Course Fee

$2,300

Pay Monthly  :

$1,250 per month x 2

11 x Weeks Lectures

Tailored Homework

Access to the RareSkills Slack and Discord Community (Lifetime access)

Save 2% if you pay with USDC or USDT

Premium Tier

Course Fee

$3,400

Pay Monthly  :

$1,800 per month x 2

Everything in Starter Tier

11 x Individual Code Review

and Mentoring Sessions

Save 2% if you pay with USDC or USDT

FAQs

Your topics section has a lot of scary math terminology, are you sure this doesn’t require moon math?

Although mathematicians often use unnecessarily complex vocabulary to describe simple concepts, we opt to use their lingo because it will help you study the literature on your own later. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly.

I want to get started right now. What should I do?

Please read our article Elementary Set Theory and Abstract Algebra for Programmers and do the exercises in it.

Is this course self-paced?

No. If you are just looking to casually understand the subject, check out our blog topics tagged zero knowledge proof. This course is intended for serious learners who are not satisfied with going halfway.

What is the course structure?

If you purchase the basic plan, you get access to weekly live lectures (11 total), study materials, and the RareSkills community. If you purchase the premium plan, you also get a weekly one-on-one meeting (11 in total) with one of the instructors to review your code and make sure you really understand the material. The hard commitments are 1 hour per week, plus an optional 30-minute meeting.

How many hours per week?

This will strongly depend on your background. If you’ve already taken an abstract algebra course, you might be able to do the course in as little as 6 hours a week. If you’re newer to the fields of math we’ve listed above, you should set aside 20 hours to be on the safe side, as it will take more time for the concepts to sink in and complete the homework satisfactorily.

I don’t care how zero knowledge works, I just want to use it

This isn’t advisable because without a deeper understanding, you won’t be able to design applications, and you’ll have a harder time understanding vulnerabilities. Additionally, there seem to be far more jobs in the infrastructure layer than the application layer. That said, our zero knowledge puzzles (in Circom) and Noir puzzles are open-sourced, so check them out to start writing code right away.

How good do I need to be at Python?

Beginner is good enough. We use Python as it has some handy math libraries that we will explicitly teach. You are free to use another language, but you’ll need to find the equivalent libraries on your own. If you prefer to use math software like Matlab, you can do that also, but we won’t offer support for other languages. That said, you need to be proficient at coding in general. If you are completely new to Python, we will provide some pre-course study materials for you to go over.

Is this in person or online?

100% online. Everything will be done through Google meets.

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