The Cryptography and Information Security Group hosted three successful "student internships" over the summer. All three students return into the 4th year of the Mathematics and Computer Science course this week:
* Dan Martin worked on various secret sharing schemes, the idea being to allow multiple untrusted servers to do some computation on your data, without them ever knowing the input or the output values. The ultimate goal for such schemes is to allow secure "outsourcing" of computation, a topic closely related to the concept of cloud computing.
* James Alderman built a security library for MPI, a standard technology commonly used to construct parallel programs for distributed or high performance computing platforms. As such, it is of interest to users of compute clusters, or the cloud, who want to protect their data with minimal effort and overhead.
* Georgios Kafanas investigated a number of topics, including the use of functional programming techniques, for example the Cryptol language, as a way to produce efficient and robust implementations of cryptography.
The projects were supervised by Prof. Nigel Smart and Dr. Daniel Page, who explained "This is a step toward the aim of integrating our undergraduate teaching and research more closely. We hope similar schemes will allow students to attempt more interesting and challenging projects, and to get a taste of what research in cryptography is. In addition, it enables students to interact with our numerous industrial partners".
The students were positive about their experience. Dan commented "This gave me insight as to what it is like to be a researcher or PhD student, and experience in working with others to solve a real-world cryptography-related problem". This was echoed by James "I am interested in pursuing a cryptography related PhD, and so the opportunity to experience research-level work at in early stage has been invaluable in cementing my plans".