DIMACS/Simons Collaboration in Cryptography

SIM-logo-fin-cropped-PMS7689U.jpgThe DIMACS/Simons Collaboration in Cryptography is a research coordination network, led by DIMACS and the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. The Collaboration features activities at both DIMACS and the Simons Institute, bringing together cryptographers and others to advance the state of the art in cryptography toward systems that are simultaneously highly efficient, highly secure, and highly functional.

The project aims to enable both foundational advances in cryptography and practical advances in its usability, providing improved security, flexibility, and efficiency. These advances have the ability to positively impact society by improving: the robustness of our national cyber infrastructure and cyber-connected physical infrastructure; the security of commercial applications in banking, health care, manufacturing, media, and more; and the extent to which individuals have control over and confidence in protection of their personal data.

Goals of the Collaboration include expanding our understanding of such things as:

  • what primitives and performance can be obtained from specific intractability assumptions;
  • fundamental tradeoffs and impossibility results;
  • how to verify the correctness of outsourced computations;
  • how best to drive adoption by system designers and implementers of more secure technologies and practices.

The Collaboration kicks off with an intensive Program in Cryptography at the Simons Institute during the summer of 2015 and continues with a two-year DIMACS Special Focus on Cryptography.

Beginning with a Cryptography Boot Camp to introduce key themes, the Simons program brings together about 60 long-term participants with a strong focus on the foundations of cryptography and related new mathematical questions. The Simons program also includes workshops on Securing Computation and on the Mathematics of Modern Cryptography.

The DIMACS Special Focus builds on the Simons program to involve a broader range of people, bringing cryptographers together with other security researchers, programming language researchers, and software engineers. It aims to advance the state of the art and of the practice of the foundations and applications of cryptography via research visits, sponsorship of NYCryptoDay, and seven additional workshops on the topics of:

  • Cryptography for Big Data
  • Cryptography and its Interactions: Learning Theory, Coding Theory, and Data Structures
  • Cryptography for the RAM Model of Computation
  • Advances and Limits of Program Obfuscation
  • Efficient and Usable Secure Computation
  • Complexity of Cryptographic Primitives and Assumptions
  • Outsourcing Computation Securely

For more information on these workshops, please see the calendar for the Special Focus on Cryptography.

In addition to being a partnership between the Simons Institute and DIMACS, the Collaboration in Cryptography is working with the Center for Encrypted Functionalities at UCLA, the Modular Approach to Cloud Security project at Boston University, and the Data Science Institute at Columbia University on individual workshops, and it is sponsoring NYCryptoDay.

The DIMACS/Simons Collaboration in Cryptography is led by a Steering Committee of:

  • Sanjam Garg, UC Berkeley, sanjamg at berkeley.edu
  • Rosario Gennaro, City College of New York, rosario at ccny.cuny.edu
  • Shafi Goldwasser, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shafi at csail.mit.edu
  • Richard Karp, UC Berkeley, karp at cs.berkeley.edu
  • Tal Malkin, Columbia University, tal at cs.columbia.edu
  • Tal Rabin, IBM Research, talr at us.ibm.com
  • Guy Rothblum, Samsung Research America, rothblum at alum.mit.edu
  • Amit Sahai, UCLA, sahai at cs.ucla.edu
  • Rebecca Wright, Rutgers University, rebecca.wright at rutgers.edu

The DIMACS/Simons Collaboration in Cryptography is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number CNS-1523467.