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Mathematics of Information-Theoretic Cryptography
The aim of this two-week event was to foster and strengthen research on the intersection between cryptography, theory of computation and pure mathematics, and to present and advance the state of knowledge on several open questions of distinctly cross-disciplinary nature, the central focus being on problems arising in information-theoretic cryptography.
The first week consisted of a course aimed at young researchers and was held at the Snellius location.
More than 20 students, as well as 8 lecturers, participated in this first week; the former were mainly PhD. students, although there were also a few postdocs and three selected local master students.
The course featured lectures on some of the topics treated during the second week workshop.
Each day typically consisted of three 1-hour lectures on a different topic: secure multiparty computation (Nielsen), towers of function fields (Beelen, Bassa) and their applications (Xing), secret sharing (Cascudo, Cramer,
Padro) and applications of multiparty computation to several problems in two party computation (Ishai).
Lecture notes of most of the sessions were quickly made available on the Lorentz center webpage. The students participated actively during the lectures and the breaks and several of them convened for evening sessions at the hotel to further discuss the lectures.
The second week consisted of a workshop at the Oort building with the participation of some 50 researchers, including the majority of the students who participated in the first week. There were nine 45-minute keynote presentations on recent results in topics ranging from cryptographic ones like secret sharing (Beimel), oblivious-transfer based multiparty-computation (Nielsen), key derivation (Dodis) to areas within mathematics and theoretical computer science which have important connections with cryptography, such as locally testable and correctable codes (Gopalan, Sudan), towers of function fields (Stichtenoth), lattices with symmetry (Lenstra), special sequences and codes from algebraic geometry
(Niederreiter) and physics (Renner). In addition, 2013 Kloosterman Professor Chaoping Xing delivered a 45-minute special talk about recent results on list decoding. Moreover, there were 15 contributed talks of 25 minutes and a 'rump session', featuring several short talks (10 minutes) announcing recent results and ongoing research.
However, there was also ample time for discussions during the breaks, wine and cheese party and boat trip. The atmosphere was very positive and exciting and, as it was our intention, there was a great deal of interaction among researchers who do not frequently meet because they belong to different communities, but who have overlapping interests.
We therefore expect that interesting research will soon come as a result of collaborations started during this workshop.
We are also confident that the young researchers will have greatly benefited from this experience and are motivated to pursue research in some of the topics they learned about during the workshop.