2020 Seed Grant Funding Awards

Vlad Kolesnikov (l) and Vincent Mooney (r) are the recipients of the 2020 IISP- Cybersecurity Seed Funding (CSF) program.

The Institute for Information Security and Privacy is pleased to congratulate Vlad Kolesnikov and Vincent Mooney as the recipients of the 2020 IISP- Cybersecurity Seed Funding (CSF) program. This award includes $50,000 in funding for one year.


Kolesnikov received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 2006. His main current research interest is practical and foundational aspects of secure computation, especially of the two-party computation. He has authored a number of papers and patent applications on improving and using garbled circuit, homomorphic encryption, and related techniques. His other interests include key exchange, especially its definitional aspects. Dr. Kolesnikov has been involved in the design and analysis of Smart Grid networks, Storage Area Networks, wireless and biometric authentication, and other secure systems. He served on standards committees (WiMAX), and was and is a PI on IARPA and ONR projects.
Kolesnikov will research and design a basic system for proving in zero-knowledge (ZK, ZKP) very large statements programmed in commodity languages, such as C or C++. Existing ZK systems focus on small statements (e.g. knowledge of preimage of a hash), encoded as Boolean or arithmetic circuits, suitable for blockchain applications. This work will enable new applications such as ZK proof of bugs of real systems and detailed real-world privacy-preserving financial audits.


Vincent Mooney attended Yale University as an undergraduate and earned his BS in Electrical Engineering in 1991. He then went to San Sebastian, Spain where he attended the University of Navarra and earned a Certificate of Graduate Study in 1992.Dr. Mooney continued his graduate education at Stanford University where he earned a MS in Electrical Engineering in 1994, a MA in Philosophy in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1998. Dr. Mooney joined the ECE faculty in 1998.
The research of this seed funding proposal aims to take a sensor as a paradigmatic example of a set of distributed autonomous devices recording information and sending the information back home.




The IISP - Cybersecurity Seed Funding (CSF) Program aims to support innovative research in emerging areas of cybersecurity, with funding support from GTRI. These are promising projects that will lead to technical innovations as well as scientific, technological and societal impacts.