Gilles Barthe

Gilles Barthe is a founding director of MPI-SP and head of the Principles of Security and Privacy group. His research interests lie in the areas of programming languages and program verification, software and system security, cryptography, formal methods and logic. His goal is to develop foundations and tools for reasoning about security and privacy properties of algorithms and implementations. His recent work focuses on building relational verification methods for probabilistic programs and on their applications in cryptography and privacy. He is also interested in provably secure countermeasures against side-channel attacks. He received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, UK, in 1993, and a Habilitation in Computer Science from the University of Nice, France, in 2004.

Asia Biega

Asia J. Biega will be joining MPI-SP as a tenure-track faculty in early 2021 after finishing her stint as a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research Montréal in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI (FATE) Group. Through interdisciplinary collaborations, she designs ethically, socially, and legally responsible information and social computing systems and studies how they interact with and influence their users. Before joining Microsoft Research, she completed her PhD summa cum laude at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and Saarland University. Her doctoral work focused on the issues of privacy and fairness in search systems. She has published her work in leading information retrieval, Web, and data mining venues. Beyond academia, her perspectives and methodological approaches are informed by an industrial experience, including work on privacy infrastructure at Google and consulting for Microsoft product teams on issues related to FATE and privacy.

Cătălin Hrițcu

Cătălin Hrițcu is a tenured faculty at MPI-SP and head of the Formally Verified Security group. He is particularly interested in formal methods for security (secure compilation, compartmentalization, memory safety, security protocols, information flow), programming languages (program verification, proof assistants, dependent types, formal semantics, mechanized metatheory, property-based testing), and the design and verification of security-critical systems (reference monitors, secure compilation chains, tagged architectures). He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on formally secure compilation, and is also actively involved in the design of the F* verification system. Catalin received a PhD from Saarland University, a Habilitation from ENS Paris, and was previously also a Tenured Researcher at Inria Paris, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Pennsylvania, and a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond.

Giulio Malavolta

Giulio Malavolta is a tenure-track faculty at MPI-SP. He is broadly interested in the theory of cryptography and its connections with quantum computation, concurrent systems, cryptocurrencies, and game theory. His recent work focuses on constructing cryptographic schemes with advanced functionalities and finding new applications to real-life systems.

Giulio was previously a postdoc with a joint appointment at UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University. In fall 2019, he was a research fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. He completed his Ph.D. in 2019 at Friedrich-Alexander University.

Christof Paar

Christof Paar is a founding director at MPI-SP in Bochum, Germany and affiliated professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research lies in the area of embedded security. His group is currently working on hardware Trojans, technical and cognitive aspects of (hardware) reverse engineering, physical layer security and the security of cyber-physical systems. He is one of the spokespersons of the Excellence Cluster CASA - Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries.

Prior to joining the MPI, Christof was with the Ruhr University Bochum (2001-2019) and WPI in Massachusetts (1995-2001). He spent the academic years 2008/09 and 2014 - 2016 as a research professor at UMass Amherst. He received a Ph.D. in engineering from the Institute for Experimental Mathematics at the University of Essen in 1994.

Peter Schwabe

Peter Schwabe is tenured faculty at MPI-SP and also a professor at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research is in the area of cryptography, specifically the design and secure implementation of cryptographic primitives. In recent years he is mainly working on post-quantum cryptography, i.e., cryptographic primitives that run on standard hardware, but remain secure even against attackers equipped with a large universal quantum computer. He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for this work on engineering post-quantum cryptography. Peter is interested in high-assurance cryptography, an area that brings together techniques and tools from formal methods and research into cryptographic software to improve the quality of cryptographic systems we use every day to protect our digital assets.                                 

Research Group Leaders

Yasemin Acar

Yasemin Acar is a Research Group Leader at MPI-SP, where she focuses on human factors in computer security. Her research centers humans, their comprehension, behaviors, wishes and needs. She aims to better understand how software can enhance users’ lives without putting their data at risk. Her recent focus has been on human factors in secure development, investigating how to help software developers implement secure software development practices. Her research has shown that working with developers on these issues can resolve problems before they ever affect end users. She was a visiting scholar at the National Institute for Standards and Technology in 2019, where she researched how users of smart homes want to have their security and privacy protected. She received the John Karat Usable Security and Privacy student Research Award for the community’s outstanding student in 2018. Her work has also been honored by the National Security Agency in their best cybersecurity paper competition 2016.

Clara Schneidewind

Clara Schneidewind is a Research Group Leader at MPI-SP. In her research, she aims to develop solutions for the meaningful, secure, resource-saving, and privacy-preserving usage of blockchain technologies. 
A main objective of her work is to back all these solutions with strong theoretical foundations in order to ensure the high degree of reliability demanded in the presence of monetary incentives. To this end, she leverages techniques from program analysis, protocol verification, and cryptography.
Clara completed her PhD at the Technical University of Vienna in 2021. In spring 2019, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
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