Summer 2015


May 18Aug. 14, 2015

A fast-growing world-wide trend views storage and computation as a commodity. Driven by ever-increasing amounts of data and the associated computational demands, organizations and individuals are outsourcing storage and computation to large third-party systems (often called "the cloud"). As our e-mail, medical, financial and other personal information will soon reside on the web, the need to simultaneously guarantee privacy, availability of data and correctness of computations is paramount. This digital reality imposes delicate and complex challenges to cryptography, which require a paradigm shift in our goals and mode of thinking. We must depart from the traditional goals of cryptography, namely secure and authenticated communication, and move towards systems that are simultaneously highly efficient, highly secure and highly functional. 

We have to tackle questions such as: How to perform computations on encrypted data stored in multiple locations? How to outsource computations to a third party and verify the correctness of the results with minimal overhead? How to provide selective access to parts of the encrypted data on a need-to-know basis? How to ensure the availability of our data when we want it? Furthermore, these issues are exacerbated by the pervasive context of large volumes of data. While some solutions work for small instances, they often do not scale to the big data setting.

Recent years have seen exciting advances, with new techniques for fully homomorphic encryption, program obfuscation, and verifiable outsourcing of computations. These results have made significant strides towards addressing the questions mentioned above. Still, there remain fascinating challenges for foundational research, and (in tandem with theoretical advances) the challenge of translating foundational progress into practical solutions.

Note: This is a Summer program that was run on an experimental basis. The Institute generally does not run Summer programs.  

This program is supported in part by the National Science Foundation, as part of the DIMACS/Simons Institute Collaboration in Cryptography.

Click here for a list of Open Problems suggested during the program.


Tal Rabin (IBM Research; chair), Shafi Goldwasser (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Guy Rothblum (Samsung Research America)

Long-Term Participants (including Organizers):

Shweta Agrawal (IIT Delhi), Alexandr Andoni (Columbia University), Benny Applebaum (Tel Aviv University), Amos Beimel (Ben Gurion University), Mihir Bellare (UCSD), Nir Bitansky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Dan Boneh (Stanford University), Zvika Brakerski (Weizmann Institute), Ran Canetti (Boston University and Tel Aviv University), Pandu Rangan Chandrasekharan (IIT Madras), Dana Dachman-Soled (University of Maryland), Irit Dinur (Weizmann Institute), Yevgeniy Dodis (New York University), Cynthia Dwork (Microsoft Research), Stefan Dziembowski (University of Warsaw), Marc Fischlin (TU Darmstadt), Juan Garay (Yahoo Labs), Sanjam Garg (UC Berkeley), Craig Gentry (IBM Research), Shafi Goldwasser (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Vipul Goyal (Microsoft Research India), Jens Groth (University College London), Iftach Haitner (Tel Aviv University), Shai Halevi (IBM Research), Russell Impagliazzo (UC San Diego), Yuval Ishai (Technion Israel Institute of Technology), Abhishek Jain (Johns Hopkins University), Charanjit Jutla (IBM Research), Yael Kalai (Microsoft Research New England), Ravi Kannan (Microsoft Research India), Aggelos Kiayias (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Hugo Krawczyk (IBM Research), Eyal Kushilevitz (Technion Israel Institute of Technology), Rachel Lin (UC Santa Barbara), Mike Luby (Qualcomm Inc), Anna Lysyanskaya (Brown University), Mohammad Mahmoody (University of Virginia), Dahlia Malkhi (VMware Research), Tal Malkin (Columbia University), Daniele Micciancio (UC San Diego), Payman Mohassel (Yahoo Labs), Moni Naor (Weizmann Institute), Kobbi Nissim (Georgetown University), Rafail Ostrovsky (UCLA), Omkant Pandey (UC Berkeley), Rafael Pass (Cornell University), Chris Peikert (Georgia Institute of Technology), Krzysztof Pietrzak (IST Austria), Manoj Prabhakaran (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Tal Rabin (IBM Research; chair), Mariana Raykova (SRI International), Omer Reingold (Stanford University), Ron Rivest (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Alon Rosen (Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center), Guy Rothblum (Samsung Research America), Amit Sahai (UCLA), Elaine Shi (University of Maryland), Ali Sinop (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Vanessa Teague (University of Melbourne), Stefano Tessaro (UC Santa Barbara), Eran Tromer (Tel Aviv University), Vinod Vaikuntanathan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Mike Walfish (New York University), Hoeteck Wee (École Normale Supérieure, Paris), Moti Yung (Columbia University and Google)

Research Fellows:

Jeremiah Blocki (Carnegie Mellon University), Elette Boyle (IDC Herzliya), David Cash (Rutgers University), Kai-Min Chung (Academia Sinica), Tancrède Lepoint (SRI International), Ron Rothblum (Weizmann Institute), Alessandra Scafuro (Boston University and Northeastern University), Daniel Wichs (Northeastern University), Vassilis Zikas (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI))

Visiting Graduate Students and Postdocs:

Prabhanjan Ananth (UCLA), Marshall Ball (Columbia University), Sasha Berkoff (Brown University), Marco Carmosino (UC San Diego), Aloni Cohen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Apoorvaa Deshpande (Brown University), Xiong Fan (University of Maryland), Jiawei Gao (UC San Diego), Romain Gay (Ecole Normale Supérieure), Divya Gupta (UCLA), Justin Holmgren (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Zahra Jafargholi (Northeastern University), Chethan Kamath (IST Austria), Saleet Klein (Tel Aviv University), Mukul Kulkarni (University of Maryland), Tianren Liu (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Peihan Miao (UC Berkeley), Andrew Miller (University of Maryland), Pratyay Mukherjee (Aarhus University), Omer Paneth (Boston University), Sunoo Park (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Valerio Pastro (Columbia University), Antigoni Polychroniadou (Aarhus University), Manuel Sabin (UC Berkeley), Noah Stephens-Davidowitz (New York University), Prashant Vasudevan (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Mor Weiss (Technion Israel Institute of Technology)


May 18May 22, 2015


Sanjam Garg (UC Berkeley), Shafi Goldwasser (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Eyal Kushilevitz (Technion Israel Institute of Technology), Tal Rabin (IBM Research), Guy Rothblum (Samsung Research America)
Jun. 8Jun. 12, 2015


Hugo Krawczyk (IBM Research), Amit Sahai (UCLA)
Jul. 6Jul. 10, 2015


Daniele Micciancio (UC San Diego), Chris Peikert (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Aug. 9Aug. 12, 2016


Guy Rothblum (Samsung Research America; chair), Shafi Goldwasser (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Tal Rabin (IBM Research)

Program image: "Lens on Cryptography." Tal Rabin/Shutterstock.