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PhD candidate Esha Ghosh, PhD alumna Olya Ohrimenko, and professor Roberto Tamassia of Brown University’s Computer Science Department have been selected for the Best Student Paper Award at the 13th International Conference on Applied Cryptography and Network Security (ACNS 2015), to be held in New York on June 2-5, 2015.

“With the advent of cloud computing,” Esha explains, “a huge amount of sensitive data gets outsourced. While integrity is essential in accessing outsourced data, privacy is a very important aspect too. Most importantly, since many of the clients accessing this data are small computing devices, efficiency is crucial. There have been attempts to address these issues separately in the past. In this work, we address these issues comprehensively, propose a formal model, and give a very efficient construction for supporting order queries and order statistics on list data.”

Their work (“Zero-Knowledge Authenticated Order Queries and Order Statistics on a List”), which Esha will present on the afternoon of June 3, shares the honor with one other paper. In addition to the competitive nature of ACNS, which has a historical acceptance rate in the range of 12-23%, the Best Student Paper Award is the only award given by the conference, chosen from all accepted papers with a student among the authors.

“I am delighted by the recognition given to our paper,” says Roberto, “which is part of an ambitious project aimed at providing an unprecedented level of security and privacy to cloud computing applications.”

“This project began,” says Olya, “when Esha and I were sharing an office, and it’s continued across the Atlantic after I moved to Microsoft Research. It’s a great example of both close and remote collaboration.”