Hi, I stand before committing to a topic of my Ph.D. dissertation. I’m interested in everything encompassing blockchains: p2p, applied cryptography, cryptocurrencies, Defi, zkSNARKs, programming languages, distributed systems, game theory, etc. Although I have more experience in software engineering, computer science and theory have become extremely appealing to me. I like thinking, designing, and formalizing, as well as hacking. My first supervisor suggests me to work on government/i-voting/notarising/ontology, the second one on information-centric networking. But, as I’ve listed above, these are not the topics that fascinate me the most. Fortunately, my supervisors give me free rein in choosing my dissertation topic.
I know that they are far more experienced scientists, but I’m also aware that they have their own interests, not necessarily aligned with mine. I don’t mind helping them with their research, but I want my dissertation to fascinate me.
Projects/papers I like:
- Ethereum: a secure decentralised generalised transaction ledger
- DIZK: A Distributed Zero Knowledge Proof System
- ZEXE: Enabling Decentralized Private Computation
- LEO: A Programming Language for Formally Verified, Zero-Knowledge Applications
- IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System
What I love about these projects is that they align perfectly with my interests and are a perfect mix of both theory and practice, science and engineering.
Also, I like everything from cs251 Stanford course.
You should be aware that I’m not an expert in cryptography; therefore, I won’t be able to e.g. improve on zkSNARKs. My current work was rather in applications of blockchain, not the technology itself. But I would like to change my direction.
I’m asking you to correct my (possibly biased) beliefs and suggest some topics that would align with my and (if possible) my supervisors’ interests.