Thursday August 19th

The most amazing conference. My first CRYPTO

First experiences and Goodbyes

  • This week, I attended CRYPTO for the first time. My summer workshop was actually shut down this week (or on a break) because many of the participants were also present, with some presenting papers, too!
  • I attended MathCrypt, which was amazing, with many participants from my new field of study.
  • I also gave two talks at my SFPC class; one on Twitch and the other for our last class, specifically on my focus for my PhD and thesis. There’s still a lot I do have to learn, and that is what I’ll be doing with this upcoming semester, and Spring. I’ve already written a proposal, but there is foundational work that I’m getting up to speed on, via my advisor, who is in Pure Mathematics. And I’m super excited.

The photo from IC3

  • I’m apparently on the IC3 website, for the project we worked on which was chosen as one of the top 4 projects! Check it out!

The hack

  • A bunch of us were hugely into the crossword puzzle, which was available until Wednesday.
  • I got up to the 13th place! I’m proud of that, considering how many crazy smart people were participating. At my highest score, I got around 185 out of 196.
  • So the highest honest score one could achieve is 196, and after that, you are ranked based on your number of incorrect guesses!
  • I later got bumped down to about 20th once people started getting really competitive and hacking the board or using automated solvers and stuff like that.
  • What do you expect; there are lots of cryptographers here.

I’m coming for you Tal!

Goodbye Beaver’s Triples!

Bye bye Peikert! makes bad eprint pun joke

Had great fun filling this out!

Settled around 185

But then, this one PhD student hacked it!

And got blocked!

And then gave a talk about it in the RUMP session!

And we ended with a series of corny cryptographer jokes!


  • I also learned if you go to the website and turn off JavaScript, you’ll find an Easter egg!

It’s been great fun!

  • I think I’ve really found home here, and I love the field and the community. I also ran into my ZK mentor, and other professors and postdocs who I have met along the way, who I would definitely consider doing a postdoc with in the future. I even ran into one of the speakers, who I had met last year! So it’s been lovely!

This is my last week of my internship

  • It’s my last day tomorrow, but I still do have some things going on; I have reviews to do for one, and have some other stuff, but it’s not crazy or anything.
  • I want to use it as a time to rest before the semester starts in the following week, but we’ll see. I also have to prep for a chapter of a statistics course I’m leading for our book club (just one evening, for 45 minutes, using R).

So I guess

  • So I guess it looks like I’m going to be a cryptographer, which is pretty neat. I’m still recovering from a burst of recruitment, so I have to get back to some people on that, and also am continuing working on the ICLR Co-submitting programme, which has been fun, but definitely showed how badly needed these kinds of programme are.
  • If my syntax is not quite right, it’s because I’m multi-tasking; sorry! There’s still a lot going on, although I’m winding down. I currently am in 2 meetings simulataneously. Can’t do that in person :)

Here is a great talk

And that’s it!

Written on August 19, 2021