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Three Graduating MC2 Students Accept Tenure-Track Faculty Positions


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Three Graduating MC2 Students Accept Tenure-Track Faculty Positions

Three graduating doctoral students working in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) have received academic appointments as assistant professors, which they each will assume in Fall 2019.

Xiao Wang will join Northwestern University, Yupeng Zhang will be going to Texas A&M University, and Kartik Nayak will join the faculty of Duke University. They will all receive their Ph.D. degrees this summer—Wang and Nayak in computer science and Zhang in electrical and computer engineering.

They each have decided to take year-long postdoctoral positions in 2018–2019 before starting their academic appointments. Wang will serve as a joint postdoctoral scholar at MIT and Boston University, Zhang will conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and Nayak will join VMware Research.

Wang’s research focuses on applied cryptography, particularly on efficient secure computation and applications.

He is advised by Jonathan Katz, a professor of computer science and director of MC2, and says his research greatly benefitted from their collaboration.

“Working with Jonathan was the best thing that could have happened to me,” Wang says. “He was very generous with his time and was willing to meet with me for hours to discuss my research and offer suggestions.”

Zhang’s research, also in applied cryptography, has focused primarily on searchable encryption as well as verifiable storage and computation, both of which have applications to guaranteeing integrity and privacy in cloud computing

He is co-advised by Katz and Charalampos (Babis) Papamanthou, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Zhang says he enjoyed conducting his research in MC2.

“MC2 has people working in all areas of security, and provides an open and collaborative research environment,” he says. “I learned a lot by interacting with other students and professors. MC2 was a perfect example of how to build a research group in my future career.”

Nayak works in the area of applied cryptography, and has studied oblivious computation, obfuscation, and blockchains.

He is co-advised by Katz and Elaine Shi, a former faculty member in MC2 who is now an associate professor at Cornell University.

Nayak says working in MC2 exposed him to several other areas in cybersecurity, and he enjoyed the open and collaborative atmosphere of the group. He calls working with Katz and Shi over the last five years an “amazing experience.”

“Jonathan has a wealth of experience, and always offered excellent advice,” Nayak says. “He helped shape the direction of my work, and always helped me when I got stuck on a research problem.”

Katz says he is thrilled by his students’ success.

“I am extremely happy to see them obtain the faculty positions they so richly deserve,” he says. “Their appointments are a reflection of the outstanding work they have done.”

—Story by Melissa Brachfeld

Related Articles:
New MC2 Postdoctoral Fellow Brings Expertise in Cryptography to UMD Campus
New Faculty Member Brings Wide Range of Secure Software Development Skills
Graduating Students and Postdocs Affiliated with MC2 Accept Positions in Academia and Industry
Mazurek Wins NSF Award to Improve Secure Software Development
Papamanthou Named Director of MC2
Redmiles Accepts Tenure-Track Faculty Position at Princeton University
Katz Named IACR Fellow
Katz Partners with PlatON on Building Protocols for Secure MPC
Cukier Honored with SANS Difference Makers Award
MC2 Faculty, Students Have Five Papers Accepted to ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security

June 18, 2018

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