Alex Biryukov & Dmitry Khovratovich (2017)
In 2012, the Friends launched the prize for the best doctoral thesis of the University of Luxembourg. In 2015 the award was renamed Rolf Tarrach Prize, in honor of the Rector Emeritus of our university from 2005 to 2015. The cryptographer, Dmitry Khovratovich, was the first winner of the award. We met him recently and we took the opportunity to ask him to give us an assessment of the last 9 years but also to talk to us about his future prospects. Here is a quick summary of what he told us:
“It was my pleasure to receive an Award from the Friends, and I consider it among my most honorable achievements. I am very proud of the thesis and I am deeply thankful to the University for helping me make this happen.
I remember that the University was small when I started my doctoral work, and I was among a few PhD students. We were a great community, living most in the same dorm in Limpertsberg. I made a number of trips to conferences where my research was published, and shortly before the defense I was invited by Microsoft Research to join their lab in Seattle, USA. I worked there for 2 years, then I spent 4 years in the University of Luxembourg again, now as a post-doc. Eventually I developed myself as a consultant in security, cryptography, and blockchains, and now I am employed in this role in several part-time jobs, the most important being Ethereum Foundation, a leading blockchain research lab. We are doing frontier research there with our results being immediately applied in cryptocurrencies. I am also a cryptographer at Dusk Network. I still reside in Luxembourg, obtained the citizenship, and visit the University occasionally with great joy.
I have only a small complaint, which I believe you might be able to pass to someone responsible. Right now the University deletes email accounts of employees and PhD students immediately after they quit the job. This is quite inconvenient and, among others, prevents people from listing their emails in papers and books as they will become unreachable. Many people read my old papers and write to my old email listed there and get “not delivered” in response, which is embarassing. Apart from that, everything is great!”