2019/20 Guest Seminars

Past 2019/20 Guest Seminars:


Wednesday 9th October 2019 - Lizzie Coles-Kemp (Royal Holloway)

Title: Reframing Digital Security Inquiry: Unknotting Some of the Paradoxes of Digital Technology Use

Abstract: The use of digital technology is often described as paradoxical; for example, whilst there might be a desire for privacy, people routinely use digital technology to disclose personal information without privacy protection.  This talk presents a creative security approach that is designed to critically examine lived experiences of digital technology and, in so doing, unknot technology practices that might seem paradoxical. The theoretical framing of this approach, together with their use, is explained through a presentation of a case study that examines the use of smart technology in the home. 

Tuesday 12th November 2019 - Yves Montjoye (Imperial College London)

Title: Anonymisation Debate with Prof. Mark Elliot


Wednesday 19th February 2019 - Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee)

Title: Keeping Secrets Online:

Abstract: What strategies do people deploy in keeping secrets online? And how can these strategies be repurposed to (i) enhance the capacity of UK security agencies to detect & mitigate threats generated via online channels, and (ii) support those who keep secrets as parts of their jobs in countering UK & International security threats.

We reviewed over 7500 research papers, uncovering a range of strategies, barriers and enablers involved in keeping secrets online. Three example contexts were used: supply and purchase of illegal drugs, escaping from intimate partner violence, and infidelity. We then condensed our findings, producing a short graphic novel - the “Illustrated Guide to Keeping secrets Online” – for use with security and law enforcement stakeholders in a series of well-received interactive workshops.

This talk describes the approach taken, key findings, development of the Guide and subsequent impact workshops with stakeholders.

Wednesday 6th May 2020 - Delaram Kahrobaei (University of York)

Title: Interactions between Group Theory, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Computation

Abstract: In this talk, Professor Kahrobaei will explore how group theory is playing a crucial role in cyber security and quantum computation. At the same time, how computer science (for example, machine learning algorithms and computational complexity) could help group theorists so tackle their open problems, as such this could help with cryptanalysis of the proposed primitives.

Symmetry is present in all forms in the natural and biological structures as well as man-made environments. Computational symmetry applies group-theory to create algorithms that model and analyze symmetry in real data set. The use of symmetry groups in optimizing the formulation of signal processing and machine learning algorithms can greatly enhance the impact of these algorithms in many fields of science and engineering where highly complex symmetries exist.

At the same time, Machine Learning techniques could help with solving long standing group theoretic problems. For example, in the paper [J. Gryak, R. Haralick ), D. Kahrobaei, Solving the Conjugacy Decision Problem via Machine Learning, Experimental Mathematics, Taylor & Francis (2019)] the authors use machine learning techniques to solve the conjugacy decision problem in a variety of groups. Beyond their utilitarian worth, the developed methods provide the computational group theorist a new digital “sketchpad” with which one can explore the structure of groups and other algebraic objects, and perhaps yielding heretofore unknown mathematical relationships.