Cryptography: The Jugalbandi (duet) of Structure and Randomness


Shweta Agrawal


Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Chennai, Tamil Nadu.


Tuesday, 29 June 2021, 18:00 to 19:00


Cryptography is a beautiful branch of theoretical computer science that seeks to provide guarantees to the art of secret keeping. The questions it poses are fundamental --  does the universe permit asymmetry of computation? It's practical utility requires no argument -- ad-hoc security solutions repeatedly fall prey to attack and crime is increasingly digital. Its scientific charm lies in its deeply paradoxical nature – among its early successes is the ability for two strangers to meet, generate a secret key and communicate privately, all of these from within a crowd!

In this talk, we will take a closer look at this fascinating field, paying special attention to the many apparent paradoxes it enables. Via examples such as zero knowledge proofs, fully homomorphic encryption and deniable encryption, I hope to show you how it is the perennial jugalbandi, or duet between structure and randomness that enables these beautiful and useful constructs.
Youtube link: