Abhiram Kothapalli

kothapa2@illinois.edu

abhiram.me

github.com/abhiramkothapalli

Summary

Undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dual majoring in computer science and mathematics. Involved in security research and protocol design. Active member of cryptocurrencies academic community. Currently funded by the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service NSF Grant.

Interests

Computer Security, Cryptography, Formal Methods, and Distributed Systems

Education

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.S. Computer Science, B.S Mathematics.

Relevant Computer Science Coursework: Machine Learning, Programming Languages, Computer Security, Cryptocurrency Security, Formal Models of Computation, Computer Security II (Expected)

Relevant Mathematics Coursework: Applied Cryptography, Abstract Algebra, Graph Theory, Number Theory (Expected), Real Variables (Expected), Complex Variables (Expected)

Advisors: Andrew Miller, Nikita Borisov

Experience

Sandia National Laboratories - Summer 2017

  • Built a compiler that converts a simple state machine domain specific language into Solidity, Ethereum's dominant programming language. Additionally built a decompiler that converts a limited subset of LLVM IR into Solidity.
  • Designed a novel algorithm to split and merge regexes with the intent of improving regexes over time using positive examples. Overall these trained regexes served to create accurate abstractions of data to aid intrusion detection.

Decentralized Systems Lab - Fall 2016 - Present

Ongoing effort to construct self-reliant and resilient distributed systems. Currently working on developing a modified process calculus to model interactive Turing machines in the Universal Composability security framework.

Information Trust Institute - Summer 2016

Researched applications of decentralized consensus protocols for the blockchain environment. Created SmartCast, a protocol which enforces consensus among nodes using smart contracts. Gained knowledge in consensus protocols, cryptocurrencies, and game theory.

Illinois Security Lab - Fall 2015 - Spring 2016

Worked on network protocol that allows clients to easily access data from encrypted databases. Previously worked on a protocol to limit extortion in the Bitcoin environment by limiting potentially dangerous communication.

Upthere Inc. - Summer 2014

Small startup in Palo Alto, CA. Worked on quality assurance of the Upthere Home Macos application.

Publications

  • Kothapalli A., Miller A., Borisov N. (2017) SmartCast: An Incentive Compatible Consensus Protocol Using Smart Contracts. In: Brenner M. et al. (eds) Financial Cryptography and Data Security. FC 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10323. Springer, Cham
  • Regex-Based Linkography Abstraction Refinement (In submission at a workshop associated with ACM CODASPY'18)

Talks

  • Exploring Compile Chains Targeting Solidity. Illinois Cybersecurity Seminar, Fall 2017
  • SmartCast: An Incentive Compatible Consensus Protocol Using Smart Contracts. Workshop on Trusted Smart Contracts, Spring 2017.
  • Building a Brave New World: The Science of Blockchains. CS @ Illinois SAIL, Spring 2017
  • A Bribery Framework Using Smart Contracts. CS 598: Cryptocurrency Security, Fall 2016
  • Passing Secrets Online Using Public Key Encryption. CS @ Illnois SAIL, Spring 2016
  • Encrypting Databases to Mitigate Server Breaches. PURE Poster Session, Spring 2016

Honors

Illinois Cyber Security Scholar

Fully funded under the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) NSF Grant to pursue a cyber security focused degree.

Projects

  • ZKPass: A zero knowledge based secret sharing and authentication scheme
  • Dolev-Strong: Implemented the Dolev Strong Consensus protocol to emperically test network properties for SmartCast
  • Bribery Smart Contract: Built a Ethereum Smart Contract that facilitates anonymous bribery as a proof of concept
  • Octave: Generative music using genetic algorithms
  • Electron Chess: Chess with a minimalistic and appealing UI built using Electron
  • Stock Trading Framework: Allows users to develop scripts to algorithmically trade US stocks