Xiao Wang Named Recipient of 2018 Larry S. Davis Dissertation Award

The thesis research focuses on cryptography, specifically on designing and building protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC).

 Prof. Xiao Wang

Prof. Xiao Wang has been named the 2018 recipient (Prof. Garrett Katz named as co-recipient) of the Larry S. Davis Doctoral Dissertation Award. The award recognizes the two best dissertations in the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science each year. 

Prof. Wang's dissertation is titled, "A New Paradigm For Practical Maliciously Secure Multi-party Computation" and his PhD advisor at the University of Maryland was Prof. Jonathan Katz. The thesis research focuses on cryptography, specifically on designing and building protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC). These protocols allow groups of individuals, each holding their own private input, to compute an agreed-upon function of their inputs in a distributed fashion without revealing any additional information.

“My work lies between theory and systems”, said Prof. Wang. “I develop protocols and prove them secure, and then implement them and carry out experiments to see how well the protocols perform. This, in turn, allows me to learn which part of some protocol is the bottleneck, and I can then go back to the protocol and refine it.”

Prof. Wang's research interests include computer security, privacy, and cryptography. Recently,he's working on practical multi-party computation, oblivious RAM, and post-quantum cryptography. He likes building real systems based on advanced cryptographic techniques and pushing their limits of practicality.

He is currently completing postdoctoral research at MIT and Boston University (hosted by Prof. Vinod Vaikuntanathan and Prof. Ran Canetti) before starting as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University in the Fall. Prof. Wang obtained his bachelor degree from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), where he was advised by Prof. Ke Yi.

About the Award: The Larry S. Davis Doctoral Dissertation Award was established via generous donation to the department from Prof. Davis. A committee of professorial faculty solicit nominations for this award and make final decisions. The award includes a prize of $500. The selected dissertation(s) will normally also be nominated for the ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award by the department.