Emmanuel Thomé — IACR BoD 2021

IACR Board of Directors election 2021 — platform

Meet me at Eurocrypt 2021 in Zagreb!

Who am I? #

I am an INRIA senior research scientist (« directeur de recherche ») at INRIA Nancy, France. I lead a research group with 8 permanent staff, as well as PhDs and post-docs. During academic year 2021-2022, I'm a visiting professor at University of California San Diego.

My first IACR conference was Eurocrypt 1999 in Prague, quite a while ago.

I'm the author of several computational records related to cryptanalysis of public-key primitives. The latest of these are the factoring of RSA-240, RSA-250, and the computation of discrete logarithms in a 240-digit finite field (longer list here). I'm the main author of the cado-nfs software, which is instrumental in many of these records.

My research interests #

Broadly, I'm interested in the mathematics of public-key cryptography, and anything that can materialize as a software implementation, especially when algorithms carry some mathematical subtlety. I've explored domains such as computer algebra, sparse linear algebra, computer arithmetic, curve-based cryptography, and public-key cryptanalysis.

When it comes to running computer programs, I'm the kind of person who never lets a program run for a week on a 4-core desktop machine, and likes it better when 4000 cores can do it in 10 minutes instead.

Why I'm running for this election #

The IACR has a tremendously important role to play in the task of identifying quality research outputs. It does so by maintaining high quality standards, which the community can be proud of.

I'm very interested in the diversity of this high quality research that we recognize. Hot topics come and go, and this is expected. However, under- or over-representation of topics can sometimes be exaggerated by trends or hype, and this is a caveat to keep in mind.

I'm also interested in the practical aspect of our reseach, and in particular crypto software. We want proper recognition of high quality crypto software. There are several aspects to it. Following what exists in other communities, the crypto community will advance in this direction soon, as it is anticipated that future conferences will soon experiment with some form of artifacts evaluation. We expect to learn a lot from these experiments. This will be an important step to promote reproducibility and reusability.

Based on the lessons of these experiments, I would like to push for the idea of going further, and create a way to recognize the importance of software developments that can be considered as standalone research outputs, with development efforts sometimes spanning several years. This means, yes, that some evaluation of this software must be done, and is certainly not the least of the challenges. Other difficulties can be anticipated. I plan to coordinate a reflection effort to lay the grounds of a recognition system that takes these difficulties into account.