Artur Puzio, who is currently studying the MSc Information Security, is celebrating success in the seventh International Olympiad in Cryptography, NSUCRYPTO 2020.
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NSUCRYPTO is open to competitors worldwide, with participants being split into three categories: school students, university students, and professionals. The aim of the Olympiad is to involve young researchers in solving interesting problems in the intersection of mathematics and cryptography. The annual event has been running since 2014 and by 2019 had seen more than 1900 participants from 52 countries.
Artur explained how he got involved in the competition: “Professor Keith Martin shared a link to the competition on this year’s ‘Introduction To Cryptography’ course forum. I have previously participated in mathematics and computer science competitions in high school with good results, so I thought I would give it a try.”
This year, NSUCRYPTO was split into two independent rounds, conducted online. The first round, which took place over half a day, was an individual round, and tasked participants to solve theoretical problems in the mathematics of cryptography. The second round, which took place over a week, invited teams of up to 3 participants to solve research and programming problems.
Artur gave more detail about the kinds of problems that participants were challenged with: “I think the difficulty level was kind of perfect for me. In both round we were asked to solve various kinds of problems relating to cryptography. Some of the topics were: primality testing, state machines, steganography, provable security, and exploiting weak RSA.”
In Round 1, Artur received a gold medal, and placed first overall in the category of university students. In Round 2, Artur’s success continued, and he received a bronze medal, despite entering as a one-person team!
Artur commented about finding out the results: “I knew I had submitted probably good solutions to the first-round tasks on the day of the competition. So, most of my happiness about that was on the day. Afterwards came over a month of waiting for the results/confirmation.”
More information about NSUCRYPTO can be found here: https://nsucrypto.nsu.ru