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Hire PhD mathematician to look into post-quantum crypto, ZK[...]


funded of XMR1,050.00 target

0 individual contributions
0% Funded
0 payouts
XMR0.00 balance available
0% Paid Out

Milestones 0/3

  • June

    Payout for June, 2017

    Funds awarded: 33.33% (~XMR0.00)

  • July

    Payout for July, 2017

    Funds awarded: 33.33% (~XMR0.00)

  • August

    Payout for August, 2017

    Funds awarded: 33.33% (~XMR0.00)

WHAT: Hire me, a newly-minted Ph.D. Mathematician for research, mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, paper publication, grant writing, and educational/professional outreach. Goals include minimizing blockchain bloat, ensuring Monero is robust in a post-quantum world, and investigating ZK protocols. See below for details.

WHO: My name is Brandon Goodell. I worked under the pseudonym Surae Noether earlier in graduate school. I have a B.Sc. in math from Colorado State University, an M.Sc. in math from North Dakota State University and, in a few weeks, a Ph.D. from Clemson University in Mathematical Sciences. My research in academica, working chronologically backward, involved integral domains in commutative algebra, computationally efficient models of neurons, and modeling disease propagation deterministically and stochastically. I can make my CV available to anyone who wants a copy, and there is a bit more detail about my Ph.D. work at the end of this.

WHY: Crypto is an arms race, and Monero is in a rather fragile position. The way I see it, Monero is facing the following problems in the near future, in no particular order: (1) any system built without zero-knowledge protocols is leaking info with each broadcast transaction, (2) post-quantum cryptography is going to be a requirement, and (3) blockchain bloat: block size is proportional to key size and key size is proportional to privacy. I can't promise to fix each of these issue, but I can promise to devote my time and energy into new proposals towards their eventual solution.

PROPOSAL, EXPIRATION: Hire me for 1050 Monero for June, July, and August 2017. At the discretion of the community renew on a quarterly basis (adjusting for exchange rate to USD).

Primary job description: Discover and vet new ideas and community proposals, participate in community conversations on IRC, the forum, reddit, and disseminate any rigorous results I develop (proofs or counter-proofs of security, technical reports with formal plausibility and security analyses, white papers, peer reviewed publications, and speaking at conferences). Previous contributions to Monero along these lines included Shen's Ring CT and my previous work on chain reactions. The emphasis of the bulk of this work will be on points (1), (2), and (3) from the WHY section: zero knowledge protocols, post-quantum crypto, and blockchain bloat.

In addition to this, one of my long-term goals for MRL is for the lab to be self-sufficient to remove the burden from the community members. Finding external sources of funding (possibly through grants, possibly through other sources) will likely be an annual tradition with an eye toward that goal. Publication of white papers including plausibility and security analyses, together with submissions to peer-reviewed scientific journals, will make up the component of my work most visibile to the community; if I can manage to actually land a grant, that would be a completely different animal.

My tertiary job may include educational and professional outreach, depending on how the community feels. I have ideas for educational outreach programs ranging from high school to college to graduate school; I think this would be a fun way to get the next generation of coders interested in crypto and the future backbone of financial data structures. I also have ideas for professional outreach. This involves cultivating talent in the academic worlds of the math and computer science communities, as well as encouraging the talent already in our communities... I would like to organize an annual technical cryptocurrency conference to invite the active and thoughtful members of the Monero community, other cryptocurrency communities, the academic community to discuss the goldmine of thought experiments swirling around cryptocurrencies.

MILESTONES: Since this is not a finite project with a well-defined outcome, milestone assessment may be an impractical way to judge progress. We could judge my progress by number of papers published each quarter or each year, but that provides motivation for me to produce least-publishable-units (LPU): short papers that say just enough to get me paid. I won't have time to necessarily put out higher quality, in depth publications if I have a quota to meet. I do not think it is in the interest of quality research to work under an LPU incentive.

However, I like the idea of writing an MRL newsletter each quarter that summarizes mine and other members' contributions to the Monero community and toward the MRL research efforts. This newsletter would, presumably, be an investor's reality check that their money is not being wasted. Certainly, investors will see the white and peer-reviewed papers put out by MRL in addition to this newsletter, and although the peer review process can be agonizingly slow, papers can be posted to ArXiV in the midst of review. For these reasons, I am not tremendously concerned that it will be difficult to convince the community of my worth in terms of reearch output, but it would be nice to produce a newsletter as both a brag for our educational outreach work and to satisfy the notion of a milestone for investors. Of course, I'm absolutely open to suggestions.

Lastly: I had a very good time working for MRL last time around and there is lots of room for improving my work (I was young... alas). You can find my graduate student page here. For more details about me: my PhD qualifying exams were in abstract algebra, real analysis, and mathematical statistics. My coursework has touched on a very wide range of mathematics... an incomplete list includes topology and graph theory, algebraic geometry and commutative algebra, cryptography and coding theory, real and complex analysis, harmonic/Fourier/functional analysis, mathematical statistics, variational calculus, and pattern recognition/machine learning. I starting programming computers in middle school, and over the years I have coded in C, C++, Java, Python (2), and (if you count them as programming languages rather than software packages) in R, Mathematica, Matlab, and Maple. You can find my github at where I have a shitty automated Coinbase bitcoin trader, a shitty evolutionary algorithm for training recurrent neural networks, and a not-so-shitty "probabilistic neural network," which is a dead-simple pattern recognition device. I have been teaching throughout graduate school, courses ranging in difficulty from business calculus to differential equations for engineers and proof writing for undergraduate math majors.

Replies: 11
lethos3 posted 1 day ago Weight: 496 | Link [ - ]

WSM - Will Send Moneroj

fluffypony edited 1 day ago Weight: 493 | Link [ - ]

Just want to chime in to confirm that Brandon is Surae. I met up with him (as well as Sarang and Shen) in 2014, at the mini-MRL meetup we had. I think we'd all be grateful to have his input again, and I promise not to force him to work on the difficulty retargeting algorithm...for the first 6 months;)

useujp posted 4 days ago Weight: 491 | Link [ - ]

I love this proposal and gladly will help fund this.

scoobybejesus posted 4 days ago Weight: 491 | Link [ - ]

I believe this will be fully funded in no time, and I'll be a happy contributor.

drfred edited 1 day ago Weight: 490 | Link [ - ]

let's drown this fucker under a shitload of romero, I'm in!

guzzijones12 edited 5 days ago Weight: 489 | Link [ - ]

It would be worth it for me to fund you just to brain rape you on irc. :)

Rogerfederer posted 5 days ago Weight: 489 | Link [ - ]

I'll contribute as well.

Gingeropolous posted 5 days ago Weight: 489 | Link [ - ]

Huzzah! Congrats on the PhD. Those finalizing months can be..... interesting.

Needless to say, I'll crack open the vault to pitch some Monero your way.

pa edited 5 days ago Weight: 488 | Link [ - ]

Yes, please! Would love to have you anchor MRL and help recruit other mathematicians/cryptographers to study and improve Monero.

monerowallet posted 5 days ago Weight: 488 | Link [ - ]

Will fund!

This is an especially promising proposal and I am greatly looking forward to the fruits that it may bear.

antw081 posted 5 days ago Weight: 488 | Link [ - ]

I've be happy to help funds this.