Impagliazzo and Turing Award Winner to Keynote Theory of Cryptography Conference
From Feb. 24-26, CSE will host the Theory of Cryptography Conference 2014. TCC is the top international conference dedicated to theoretical aspects of cryptography, and it's being organized and it's co-chaired this year by CSE professors Mihir Bellare and Daniele Micciancio. The Theory of Cryptography Conference (TCC 2014) will feature keynote talks by Turing Award co-winner Silvio Micali (at right) and CSE Prof. Russell Impagliazzo (pictured below), in addition to a strong program of technical talks. Roughly 100 experts in the field of theory and cryptography are expected to attend TCC 2014 from around the world.
MIT's Micali will talk about "Collusion and Privacy in Mechanism Design," and CSE's Impagliazzo will explore "General vs. Specific Hardness Assumptions in Cryptography."
TCC 2014 is the 11th in the series, and is sponsored by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) in cooperation with CSE. Theory of Cryptography has contributed much to the practice of cryptography and secure systems as well as to the theory of computation at large. The TCC is a venue dedicated to the dissemination of results in the area. The conference will provide a meeting place for researchers and be instrumental in shaping the identity of the Theory of Cryptography, which deals with paradigms, approaches and techniques used to conceptualize, define and provide solutions to natural cryptographic problems. Research in this area includes: (a) the study of known paradigms (resp. approaches and techniques), directed towards a better understanding and utilization of the latter; (b) discovery of new paradigms (resp. approaches and techniques) that overcome inherent or seemingly inherent limitations of the existing paradigms; and (c) formulation of new cryptographic problems and treating them using known or new paradigms (resp. approaches and techniques).
Both keynote speakers at TCC 2014 earned their Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley - Silvio Micali in 1982, Russell Impagliazzo in 1989. Micali has been on the MIT faculty since 1983, and his non-conventional thinking has fundamentally changed our understanding of basic notions such as randomness, secrets, proofs, knowledge, collusion and privacy. Facilitated by Micali's patents and startup companies, this foundational work was a key component in the development of the computer security industry. In 2012 Micali and colleague Shafi Goldwasser shared the Turing Award for laying the complexity-theoretic foundations for the science of cryptography.
The keynote speaker on Feb. 26 at TCC 2014, CSE Prof. Impagliazzo, joined the UCSD faculty in 1989, and in 2004 he was appointed a Guggenheim Fellow (cited for his work in heuristics, proof complexity and algorithmic techniques). Impagliazzo is a mathematician who focuses on the foundations of cryptography, or using "hard problems" for security applications. Hard problems require a prohibitive amount of time or resources to solve. Complexity theory, the mathematical domain in which Impagliazzo works, aims at establishing how hard a problem really is. The CSE professor is now seeking methods to safely use less randomness in cryptography and in algorithms.
Attendance at presentations and meals is restricted to registered participants. However, campus and other interested parties are welcome to attend the keynote talks by Micali and Impagliazzo.
Computer science major Sangwoo (Sean) Nam calls himself a "UCSD Student, blogger, tech enthusiast, hobby developer, gamer, entrepreneur, app developer, self-learner and dabbler in all things." So rather than wait to fulfill his desire to be part of an entrepreneurial startup, he launched his own startup called App Republic, which Nam calls a "one-man mobile app and game company." The CSE undergraduate (pictured with screenshot from his newest app) built the website to showcase his apps, including Famous Age Quotes (an informational app to supply quotes) and a casino-themed game called Slot Frenzy, billed as the "ultimate slot machine experience." Now Nam has come out with his newest mobile game for users of the iPhone or iPad. The game is called Dragon Adventures: An Infinite Flying Game. After ogres destroy a dragon's lair, the surviving Mighty Dragon battles ogres and monsters to find other dragons.
CSE Prof. Yoav Freund (at left) was quoted in the Feb. 6 issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune, in a piece by science editor Gary Robbins, about the new Facebook feature to mark the social networking giant's 10th anniversary. Users can click on "A Look Back" and Facebook compiles a 60-second slideshow about the user. For Robbins, the portrait was so uncannily accurate, that he wanted to know how Facebook could do it so well and so quickly. Facebook doesn't divulge such secrets, so the reporter turned to Freund, who pointed out that Facebook "can easily use algorithms to spot words that are common on one user's newsfeed, but not on others. This helps reveal what's important to a specific user. Freund also believes Facebook is using a longstanding tool in linguistics modeling, called "bag of words." "Scientists came up with algorithms that search documents for specific words, and combinations of words, and the frequency with which the words appear," Freund is quoted as saying, adding that this "helps people classify the content of such things as legal filings and legislative bills." Freund, who is an expert in machine learning, also believes that Facebook uses a form of machine learning called sentiment analysis, in cases where the algorithm picks up on words or expressions that "could carry deep meaning, such as love, hate, family and friend."
The 2014 Information Theory and Applications (ITA) Workshop, organized by the Qualcomm Institute-based ITA Center, is underway all this week, with over 700 information theory researchers from around the world. It's organized by ECE and CSE professor Alon Orlitsky.
The "Big Data Big Network 2" workshop is the second international conference on Mexican-American research collaboration partnerships, and provide information and training on how best to use high-speed networking and display walls. On Tuesday, the workshop wrap-up will be presented by CSE Prof. Larry Smarr (pictured).
McGill University lecturer Anil Ada will present on "Communication Complexity." The topic includes a study of privacy in the context of communication complexity: how much information do the players reveal about their input when following a communication protocol.
This Theory Seminar by IBM Research staff researcher Moritz Hardt will explore "On the Provable Convergence of Alternating Minimization for Matrix Completion." The problem has received considerable attention in computer science, machine learning, statistics and signal processing.
CSE professors Mihir Bellare and Daniele Micciancio (at left) are organizing the Theory of Cryptography Conference (TCC 2014), the 11th in the series. [Read related news story above for details about the conference and keynote presentations.]
UC San Diego Extension and UC-TV are organizing a conference on "UCSD Big Data at Work," primarily to serve the campus and San Diego communities with information about the Big Data challenge to existing industries, and the most valuable future jobs in the Big Data sector. Speakers on the program include SDSC director Mike Norman (pictured), Calit2 director and CSE Prof. Larry Smarr, among others.
Have a notice about upcoming travel to conferences, etc., for the Faculty GPS column in our weekly CSE Newsletter? Be sure to let us know! Email Doug Ramsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.