InfoSec Seminar: Cryptography for Eagles

Speaker: Prof Jens Groth

Date/Time: 24-Mar-2016, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Roberts 110



The talk will be a high level discussion about what cryptography is and what I see as important research directions. It aim to make it non-technical and accessible for everyone and will try to leave time for discussion. Topics I will touch upon include:

  • Multi-party computation: Any efficiently computable function can be computed securely, i.e., the result is guaranteed to be correct and private inputs remain confidential.
  • Zero-knowledge proofs: A theorem can be proved to be true without revealing anything but the fact it is true. Recently we have developed highly efficient zero-knowledge proofs; even large complex statements have small compact proofs.
  • Challenges: Computer-aided construction of cryptographic protocols and automated verification of security proofs.


Jens Groth is Professor of Cryptology in the Department of Computer Science at University College London and Director of UCL's Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research. His work revolutionized the area of zero-knowledge proofs with the invention of practical pairing-based non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs, which was recognized early on with the UCLA Chancellor's Award for Postdoctoral Research in 2007. He initiated the use of pairings to construct succinct non-interactive arguments, so-called SNARGs, with minimal communication. He has also invented the world's most efficient verifiable shuffles, which are used as a component of many mix-nets and voting schemes. Other areas of contribution include structure-preserving cryptography, ring signatures and group signatures, private information retrieval, and public key cryptography.



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