Invited Speakers

Eli Ben-Sasson: Starkware

Title: From Galactic PCP theory to scaling blockchains with ZK-STARKs

Abstract: There’s a beautiful story to be told about how theoretical “galactic” algorithms involved in the PCP Theorem got reduced to practice and are the main contender for scaling blockchains.  This story will be the topic of this talk.

Eli is a co-founder and president of StarkWare, and Chairman of its Board of Directors.
He has been researching cryptographic and zero knowledge proofs of computational integrity ever since he received his Phd in Theoretical Computer Science from the Hebrew University in 2001. Eli is a co-inventor of the STARK, FRI and Zerocash protocols and a Founding Scientist of the Zcash Company. Over the years he held research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Harvard and MIT, and, most recently, was a Professor of CS at Technion, which he left to co-found StarkWare.
Marshall Ball: New York University

Title: How to Do Cryptography Even When Cryptography Doesn’t Exist

Abstract: Over the past half century remarkable progress has been made on “provably secure” cryptography. At the heart of this progress is a clear, compelling, and convenient formalism of an adversary as a probabilistic polynomial time algorithm.
Unfortunately, it remains unclear if such a cryptography is indeed possible.
We survey some recent work that studies relaxed security notions where an adversary is only moderately more powerful than honest parties. Notably, such security notions may be achievable even if classical cryptography does not exist. 

Marshall is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at NYU Courant.
His research is in theoretical computer science, particularly the foundations of cryptography and computational complexity. He completed the PhD at Columbia University. He has been visiting the FACT Center at IDC Herzliya, Israel and he has been postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington.