Nikhil Vanjani

Nikhil Vanjani

PhD Student

Carnegie Mellon University

Biography

I am a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University, where I am fortunate to have Elaine Shi as my advsior. Previously, I received MS in Information Security in 2021 from Carnegie Mellon University where I was also advised by Elaine. Even before, I received B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering in 2018 from IIT Kanpur.

My research interests are in Cryptography and Blockchains, and I am generally interested in Theoretical Computer Science and Cyber Security. My ambition is to develop cryptographic tools to build technology that can be trusted. On one hand, I enjoy studying problems such as fully homomorphic encryption and functional encryption which have engendered a new wave of exuberance in the research community in recent years. On the other, it is also motivating to see cryptography applied to solve practical problems, such as the impact of zero-knowledge arguments on making blockchains scalable and more secure. My current work focuses on functional encryption and program obfuscation.

You can find my CV here.

Please feel free to contact me at nvanjani [at] cmu.edu.

Research Experience

 
 
 
 
 
Theory Group, Algorand
Intern - Smart Contracts Researcher
Theory Group, Algorand
May 2021 – Aug 2021 Pittsburgh
Investigated about cryptographic tools needed to enable building complex and powerful Layer 2 Smart Contracts in AlgoClarity (Algorand’s version of the Clarity Smart Contract Language).
 
 
 
 
 
Cryptography Group, IIT Madras
Research Assistant
Cryptography Group, IIT Madras
Aug 2019 – Jun 2020 Chennai, India
Worked on designing a blockchain-based voting system with support for vote verification to enable voters to vote from anywhere with the goal of increasing voter turnout.

Talks

(2020). Attribute-based Signatures for Unbounded Circuits in the Random Oracle Model. Cryptography Reading Group, IITM.

Slides

(2019). Obfuscation of Probabilistic Circuits and Applications. Course Project for Computing on Encrypted Data, IITM.

Slides

(2018). Two case studies on advances in Blockchains: Algorand, Zcash. Seminar Talk for National Blockchain Project, IITK.

Slides

(2018). Fully Homomorphic Encryption. Course Project for Linear Algebra Tools for Theoretical CS, IITK.

Slides

(2017). On Lattices, Learning With Errors, Random Linear Codes, and Cryptography. Course Project for Quantum Computing, IITK.

Slides