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Brown CS Faculty And Alums Win Facebook Privacy Research Awards

Click the links that follow for more news about Foteini Baldimtsi, Anna Lysyanskaya, Olya Ohrimenko, Charalampos Papamanthou, Roberto Tamassia, and other recent accomplishments by Brown CS faculty and alums.

Facebook recently announced the recipients of their research awards on privacy-preserving technologies and the role of applied cryptography in a privacy-focused advertising ecosystem. Out of 164 proposals submitted, the company chose 14 winners, which include a Brown CS faculty member and two alums. A third alum was a finalist in the competition.

  • Alum Foteini Baldimtsi, now an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University, will work with Professor Anna Lysyanskaya, who is also on the faculty of Brown's Master of Science in Cybersecurity program. Their research ("Private user authentication: Anonymous credentials on Facebook’s Libra blockchain") falls under the Privacy-Preserving Technology category.
  • Anna also has a solo project ("Know your anonymous customer") in the Role of Applied Cryptography in a Privacy-Focused Ecosystem category.
  • Alum Olya Ohrimenko, now a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne's School of Computing and Information Systems, has a solo project ("Private integration of retailer’s data feeds in an advertising ecosystem") in the Role of Applied Cryptography in a Privacy-Focused Ecosystem category.
  • Alum Charalampos Papamanthou, now an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center, was a finalist in the Role of Applied Cryptography in a Privacy-Focused Ecosystem category for a project ("Zero-knowledge proofs for cross-business purchase measurement") with Yupeng Zhang of Texas A+M University. 

These interconnections demonstrate a long Brown CS tradition of research and teaching on all aspects of cryptography, anonymity, privacy and security, ranging from studying theoretical foundations to building real-world systems. Anna, for example, was Foteini's doctoral advisor, and Brown CS Professor Roberto Tamassia, also a faculty member with the Master of Science in Cybersecurity program, advised both Charalampos and Olya. Charalampos, in turn, was Yupeng's advisor.  

“Selecting winners from this impressive set of proposals was not easy,” says Sharon Ayalde, Facebook's Research Program Manager, Academic Relations. “We look forward to seeing the outcome of the research described in these outstanding proposals and to collaborating further with these experts.”

The full list of winners and finalists is available here.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.