TL;DR: things are surprisingly going good for once.
In philosophy, a state of affairs, or (also known as) a situation, is a way the actual world must be in order to make some given proposition about the actual world true; in other words, a state of affairs (situation) is a truth-maker, whereas a proposition is a truth-bearer. 1
As of now I’m buried under a ton of paperwork (agreements ‘n stuff) that I have to sign and submit soon. Then … I have to wait for two months or so before the program starts.
There, I’ll be working on a very cool project that involves a variety of things that I have experience [playing!] with, from pure Cryptography (Public Key Cryptography, secret sharing, etc.) to Onion Routing (like TOR), and Linux network and security features such as OpenSSL, SELinux, etc! A friend of mine said it sounds super cool and honestly, I think it is, so much that I may [or may not] be a little worried about how effective I will be there; but, as I said to my friend, it was just a hobby in the beginning, until it got serious!
Those who know me closely know that Jux (formerly HelliJudge) is more than just a project for me; it’s a hobby, even more, it’s like a pet! 3 I go back and play with it whenever I get bored! I tweak it, test features, add features, or at the very least, try to engage in an endless theoretic discussion with Hamed about how to implement new crazy features — needless to say, it never ends!
Anyway, my point is, I started and [almost] completely ended a [quite] successful project — that I knew almost nothing about — in half a summer, by getting to school everyday, eating lunch behind my laptop while discussing the project with Hamed, and going home right before getting dark while still discussing the project in the bus!
Of course I can manage a summer research fellowship that I know so much about already! So, the more challenging it is, the more I’ll gain from it.
On a related note, since late January I took an online Cryptography course on Coursera taught by Dan Boneh, who I came to realize to be a pretty famous Cryptography professor at Stanford. It covered a wide variety of subjects from symmetric encryption, data integrity, and public-key encryption, to key exchange. The class ended about a month ago, but it’s been restarted since less than two weeks ago, so if you’re fast enough you can easily catch up without missing any deadlines. The best part was programming assignments that often even included breaking real-life cryptograms!
Last note: until now this blog was merely named Cryptanalyst and maybe a little OpenSSL or other security related stuff was mentioned. The main reason being that I simply couldn’t say anything new about cryptography; not yet! But starting from now I want to engage more seriously with cryptography, maybe write about my ideas or just topics that I’m working on.
So, to future!