Samvaad Talk
Aug 05, 2019

The second Samvaad season of 2019 began on August 5 on IIITB campus in Electronic City. A platform to highlight various research initiatives on campus, the second season focuses on ‘Cryptography and Security’ and the first talk was delivered by Prof. Bhavana Kanukurthi, assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

The talk included a layman's introduction to the area of cryptography and security and the audience got a sneak peek into the wonderful and fascinating history of cryptography. The talk also presented several examples capturing the essence of this field. Various fundamental concepts like symmetric-key and asymmetric-key encryption, zero-knowledge proofs, secure computation were illustrated through examples. 

Cryptography is a mathematical science, which deals with designing algorithms to keep sensitive data confidential, from unwanted entities. It plays a very crucial role in our day-to-day activities in the current digital age.

“Consider any kind of e-commerce application, where we want to buy things online or want to pay bills online. In all these applications, we are supposed to provide our bank account details or credit card information. Cryptography helps to ensure that only the intended receiver should learn our credentials and no third party should get any kind of information about our credentials. Similarly, one can consider digital Aadhar, where an intended receiver could verify the authenticity of a digitally signed copy of the Aadhar card. In all the above examples, to ensure security of the overall application, we use various cryptographic primitives,” explained professor Ashish Choudhury, assistant professor, IIITB.

Samvaad, as an initiative, was started in January 2018 to provide a platform and enable a dialogue among the diļ¬€erent research initiatives going on at IIIT Bangalore. The initiative features a public talk by one faculty member every week, introducing the ideas and questions that they are pursuing as part of their research. The objective of Samvaad is to enable cross-fertilization of ideas, and develop strategic research collaborations between members of the faculty, as well as with interested external partners.