Tuesday, October 27, 2015

School on Design and Security of Cryptographic Algorithms and Devices 2015

Between the 18th and the 23rd of October 2015 took place the fourth School on Design and Security of Cryptographic Algorithms and Devices. This year's location was Chia Laguna, Sardinia (Italy), and most importantly, this was also the first networking event for all the new Early Stage Researchers involved in the ECRYPT NET.

We were, anyway, not alone. Around ninety people attended the school, which had a programme  mostly focused on private-key cryptography, from different approaches (software implementation, provable security, side-channel attacks, lightweight ciphers and practical sessions). I would like to take advantage of this blog post to thank all of the speakers for their talks, as they were able to make them interesting and understandable for those of us coming from a predominantly public-key mindset. Personally, I enjoyed Christian Rechberger's talk 'Symmetric Cryptography with Few Multiplications', where he introduced his work on block ciphers designed with Multi-Party Computation, Fully Homomorphic Encryption and Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge. I think interdisciplinarity is one of the most positive and stimulating aspects of research, and it was nice to see people stepping forward to bring closer the private-key primitives and the public-key protocols communities.

Talks are always the main ingredient of a School, but not the only one. A lot of discussion took place during the meals and after the scheduled programme, which also included a gap on Wednesday afternoon to visit Cagliari or Is Zuddas. Some of us made the most out of our location and walked around the hotel or took a swim in the close beaches. 

On Thursday we had the ECRYPT NET kick-off meeting, where we, its members, got to know each other better.  I was delighted to verify that our group enjoys very diverse backgrounds and how our different, yet related projects join us together. We also learned about our future meetings, schools, workshops and responsibilities and even if this was slightly daunting for some of us, I got an incredible feeling of amazement. I hope that our upcoming posts will give you, at least in a smaller dose, this feeling!

Hit the road, ECRYPT fellows! Credit: Marie-Sarah

PS: As this is an European project, formed by world-wide citizens and nationalities, I think that a cultural share is also important to build a sense of community. So I hope you enjoy this excerpt of "Proverbios y Cantares", from Antonio Machado, that I feel it is a good first step on our new trip.

Caminante son tus huellas ..... The road you march, lonely wanderer
El camino, y nada más ..... It’s just your tracks, nothing much.
Caminante no hay camino ..... There is no road, lonely wanderer
Se hace camino al andar ..... The road is made as you march.
Al andar se hace camino ..... As you move on paths appear
Y al volver la vista atrás .... And upon glancing behind,
Se ve la senda que nunca ..... You contemplate lanes and byways
Se ha de volver a pisar ..... Where you shall never go back.
Caminante, no hay camino ..... There is no road, lonely wanderer
Sólo estelas en la mar ..... Just wakes at sea, only that.

from "Proverbios y cantares" in Campos de Castilla. 1912

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