EE Special Seminar

Monday March 3, 2014 3:00 PM

From Secure Communication to Secret Computation

Speaker: Hongchao Zhou, MIT
Location: Moore B270


Data security and privacy are of utmost importance for businesses, governments, and individuals. In this talk, I will present my research in security from three angles: emerging applications, practical systems and algorithms design.

First, I present an efficient homomorphic encryption framework that supports fast and practical basic arithmetic operations on integer vectors in the encrypted domain. It provides orders of magnitude improvement in computational time compared to existing methods and enables the feasibility of a number of practical encrypted signal-processing applications in cloud storage and distributed sensing.  In addition to classical cryptosystems, I further discuss quantum communications as a solution for transmitting information with provable security. In particular, I address critical coding challenges in high-dimensional quantum key distribution, and present the first known practical quantum-communication system that achieves unprecedented performance: 7.1 secure bits per photon and 7.1 Mb/s throughput over 20 km of fiber transmission. Finally, the design and implementation of secure systems rely on the generation of high-quality random bits. Motivated by the original work of von Neumann (1951), I describe the first known optimal algorithm that generates unbiased random bits from an arbitrary finite Markov chain.


Hongchao Zhou is a postdoctoral associate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics at MIT. He received his M.S. degree and Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, in 2009 and 2012, respectively, advised by Professor Jehoshua (Shuki) Bruck. He studied at Tsinghua University from 2004 to 2008, where he earned an M.S. in control science and a B.S. degree in physics and mathematics. His research interests include information theory and coding, algorithms and complexity, and their applications in data storage systems, secure communication systems and biological computing systems. He received the 2013 Charles Wilts Prize for the best doctoral thesis in EE at Caltech, the 2010 Chinese government award for outstanding self-financed students abroad, and the 2010 IEEE distinguished student humanitarian prize.

Series Electrical Engineering Special Seminar

Contact: Shirley Slattery at x4715