I received some IMs, mails and a couple of scraps here and there, asking me about the overall report of the trip, and about the paper. Moreover, a lot of people were mad at me, for I dinn let anybody around know about it till I had visa and the tickets in my hand. So, I take this opportunity to reconciliate (read : appease :P) those with red noses and give a brief travelogue about the Eurotrip and info about my paper.
To begin with, I was working in the field of Public Key Cryptography and Network security from Aug 2006. A casual interest in Cryptography culminated into a serious project work, when I thought of an encryption algo of mine, while just doodling on my table top. I knew that the algo that I had thought of was provably unbreakable, but considering the dumb brain that I have, I took around three months to come up with a hardcore number theoretical proof of about 12 lines. Ever since then, the changes were meteoric, and my HOD advised me to try out for an International paper. It was fun, I worked for like 15 hrs a day.
Then about a month after submission(once 3 experts had reviewed it), I received a mail of acceptance of my paper for publication, and was invited to present my paper in europe.Then I ran around for the Schengen visa, the overseas policy, the funding …and all the visa paraphernalia. Got the Visa in 4 days (record time 🙂 ).
A short explanation of paper:
It gives a public key encryption algorithm: “which avails two authenticated users to communicate privately over a non secure channel, even when the network is penetrable, and the eavesdropper knows the Algorithm inside out” – Kerkhoff’s definition of a PKC algo. It uses the concept of trap door functions of the many to one type, and the ability of Fermat’s little theorem expression to have multiplicatrive aliases leading to the desired exponent at the end of some multiplications. It is practically impossible to break a 256 bit key even by a brute force attack.
In other words, it encrypts in such a way, that even the best of the computational algorithms cannot break the key, in turn leading to security.
My itinerary was nice, giving me a lot of opportunities to roam around in Paris, Amsterdam and Lisbonne. My connecting flight at Paris had a gap of 8 hrs while going, and hence I got a chance to use the Tubes to see around places like Arc De Triomphe (The arch built in fond memory of soldiers from nepoleonic wars). There, I was asked: “Dude, do you wanna buy Hashish?…alcohol?…need girls?”.Pah! Imagine Rohit Pandharkar being asked to buy Hashish!
Then I strolled and, fortunately managed to get to Eiffel Tower (A pity that it no longer belongs to the new 7 wonders list.). By the way, I was in Lisbonne when the new seven wonders were announced in Lisbonne in presence of Ben Kingsley, Hillary Swank and Bipasha, at Benficca stadium. I did visit Louvre in Paris but could nt get inside as I had a lil time left to go back to Charles de Gaulle.
Hotel and the Food:
I was staying at Sana Lisboa, the park hotel. It had free American breakfasts, which I loved alot. Especially the Baked beans, the Apple Juice, Sausages, Croissants. Me and my German friend used to have like….double-triple helpings of baked beans. The hotel also had steam sauna, and free net on TV.The room also had a small fridge that had a mini bar. The thing that amazed me was, we had smart cards to swap through doors to lock and unlock.No conventional locks.
My presntn and People I met:
When in Lisbonne, we had a conference tour of about 9 hrs, which ended with an awesome dinner at a traditional portuguese restaurant with a folkdance in which we later joined in. I danced with Dr. Katia Sycara, a famous prof from Dept of electrical engg, Carnegie Mellon :), then Dr.J P Shim, Director International Business Strategy Program, USA, joined us at the dinner table.
Dr. Shim also invited me to collaborate on a research paper with him in coming months on Wireless Communication Security. I had a nice chinwag with him, over the release of new IPhone in the States.I was amazed by the list of his friends- Gordon Moore- co founder intel, Vinton cerf-Vice President google,Paul Jacobs-CEO QualCom, and on and on… He has written more than 150 international papers, and holds several research chairs, and is US ambassador to the far east asia. Imagine, you sharing dinner table with such a great person! It was a nice experience.
On 5th of july I had my presentation. It went well, and turned out to be interesting. I was given 15 mins, but it prolonged to about 25 mins followed by a lot of questions, where I think I did quite well ( considering the fact that ‘Mereko actually kuch nahi ata’ 🙂 .In the coffee break that followed, a bunch of people came to me and talked about the advantages of my algo that I had nt thought of.(whoa!), But honestly, I admit that I m very callow in the field and not an expert as far as java cryptographic architecture is concerned.I was no match to the big wigs around there, I preferred to listen, rather than to talk.
I met people from more than 30 countries: Germany, France, UK, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan, States, Australia, Newzlnd, UK, Brazil, Thailand, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, China ….and on.It feels nice to represent your country. At the conference, they give you a tag, having your country flag, to be worn on your blazer.It feels great, to have the indian tag on your chest.
Then I met Prof. Bebo White, from University of Stanford. He works at SLAC, and also teaches encryption at stanford.So, talking to him about cryptography was like, meeting SRK. He took a dekko at my paper, and said, “Come over my room in the evening, we ll talk about what can be done more about it.”I unfortunately had a flight back that evening, so i could nt make it, but he told me to talk to him on YM once back in india. (He knows Pune btw!, And he knows COEP! [:)]) He calls Pune “Pyoooon”-pronounced like ‘peon’ [:D]
By and large all this was a great experience. I took this as an opportunity to meet great people and make some contacts. An opportunity to realise that, I know zilch of my field, and need to work hard.There was a lot to learn, right from the table manners to presentation skills. All in all, a nice way to spend your summer vacs 🙂
PS: You can see the pics from europe in my orkut album at