Tue, Jan 11, 2022

9 PM – 11 PM EST (GMT-5)

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This is Part 1 of a double workshop that meets on two days. When you register for this event, you will automatically be registered for Part 2 on January 13th from 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM.

Secure Multi-Party Computation is a cryptographic technique for several parties with private data to come together and compute the result of a function without revealing their secret input to each other, and without needing to trust a neutral party. The basics of this method are very approachable, so come and apply it to problems in your own fields!

The first half of the workshop requires no background aside from primary school algebra (variables, simple equations). We will use MPC as an interactive activity to do a secret vote on the workshop-goers' favorite Princeton ice cream shop, without anyone revealing their personal preference.
We will also see other examples of what MPC can do in the real world, including:
(1) secret voting;
(2) conducting an auction without revealing anyone's bid;
(3) measuring demographic pay gaps without revealing any individual's salary information;
(4) helping satellites avoid collision without revealing exactly where they are;
(5) as a market clearinghouse matching buyers with sellers without revealing anyone's offer;
(6) creating solar energy buyback programs without revealing individual households' energy usage;
(7) enabling privacy-preserving location services;
and more!

The second session of the workshop is designed for participants comfortable with basic computer programming (variables, conditionals, basic arithmetic). We will write a program to do MPC at scale with more security features. Please feel free to contact me with any questions about this, but if you are on the fence about whether or not you have enough programming knowledge, you probably do.

What to expect:
Double workshop (meets twice a week for 2-hour sessions, 4 total hours of meeting time)

Meet the facilitator:
Sarah's research seeks out areas in society, law, and policy where cryptography can assist by improving privacy or authenticity guarantees. She works to improve the technical frontier of cryptographic systems while also bringing more basic cryptographic ideas to prominence in areas where they are underutilized. Sarah Scheffler is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Information Technology Policy. She obtained her Ph.D. in computer science from Boston University, examining topics at the technical intersection of cryptography and law.

To request accommodations for this event, please contact me at least 3 working days prior to the event.

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