IACR Objectives Statement, John R. Black

I am standing for election as Secretary of the IACR (International Association for Cryptologic Research). My official statement of objectives on the ballot is limited to 50 words. My statement here is not. (Grin)

My first aim is to serve the Board and the IACR membership by working to maintain high research standards, high-quality conferences, and to support our flagship journal, the Journal of Cryptology.

My second aim in seeking to be more involved with the IACR is directed toward enhancing attention toward students; since this is a new idea (as far as I know), let me explain more about what I am thinking. Each year a given IACR conference or workshop attracts a large contingent of students. I share the belief that this is a good thing: conferences are a great mechanism for learning, giving talks, and gaining exposure within our community. However, students achieve quite varying levels of success in these pursuits: when I attended my first CRYPTO conference in 1997, I understood almost none of the talks and pretty much socialized only with the two people from my own university. It wasn't until years later that I started meeting students from other schools, and it was later still before I had the courage to introduce myself to the more senior researchers.

I have several ideas to improve this process for students to both help along their educations/careers and to make the conferences more enjoyable and rewarding. The first event along these lines took place as a BoF at this year's CRYPTO, with help from Bogdan Warinschi, Tom Shrimpton, and Martin Cochran.

If elected, leading and coordinating this will be among my top priorities.

John Black's WWW Page / John R. Black / (jrblack@cs.colorado.edu)