UIUC researcher earns best paper award at international quantum conference

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Dakshita Khurana’s paper “One-Way Functions Imply Secure Computation in a Quantum World” received a Long Plenary talk award at QIP 2021, a premier international conference for theoretical quantum information research. Only two papers out of 462 submissions received this recognition, which is equivalent to a best paper award.

Secure computation is a cryptography technology that allows collaborative data analysis without revealing any private information from individuals in the process. One of the goals of modern cryptography is to realize secure computation under the simplest possible cryptographic assumptions, which is difficult to attain with classical computing resources.

However, researchers have discovered that quantum key distribution has opened up the tantalizing possibility of using quantum resources to enable secure computation assuming the existence of one-way functions.

Khurana and her co-authors—James Bartusek (Berkeley), Andrea Coladangelo (Berkeley), and Fermi Ma (Princeton)—showed in their paper that general-purpose secure computation can be realized assuming the existence of one-way functions and assuming a few simple quantum capabilities. Their protocols use only simple quantum communication as in the quantum key distribution protocols of Bennett and Brassard, making them amenable to deployment in the foreseeable future as quantum communication becomes a reality.

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