Distinguished Speaker Presentations and Keynotes

Industrial Tech Stories

Talk title & Abstract Where Links
Unexpected Lessons from Production Systems Impacting the Foundations of Distributed Computing

   This talk is a spin on the tech-transfer stories talk (below), in which I describe insights from distributed systems I worked on that led to breaking myths and grounds in distributed computing.
[NorCalDB Day 2023]  
Tech Transfer Stories and Takeaways

   I spoke at various occassions about my experience driving basic research to production. The stories I share are all in the distributed computing arena. Yet, I hope that the take-aways from the experience of building foundations for these systems may be of interest and value to everyone, no matter the discipline.
[Brown 2023], [Duke 2023], UCSB 2023, [ICDCS keynote 2021], [Cornell 2021], [DISC keynote 2021] [🎥]
Talk title & Abstract Where Links
Recent Advances in Consensus Research from Chainlink Labs

   💡💡 This presentation describes two recent advances in BFT Consensus research, HotStuff-2 and BBCA-Chain, and the road that led to them.
[SmartCon23] [🎥]
Privacy-Preserving Oracles with DECO

   😯 Imagine that users can bring claims about themselves into smart contracts with complete privacy: “I am a person” (but not private information about me); “I live in the US” (but not my address); “my combined bank accounts balance is above a threshold” (but not my balances); and more.
   🤔 In this presentation at SmartCon 2022, we explain how DECO enables the unlocking of user information from current web 2.0 servers into Web 3.0; we describe the application of academic research to allow smart contracts to serve even more powerful use cases in a truly privacy-preserving manner; and we give a glimpse into real-world use cases.
[SmartCon22] [🎥]
Connecting Blockchains and the World

   What would it take for blockchains to enable people and businesses everywhere better, trusted and innovative financial foundations? In the first part of the presentation, I briefly recall the Diem story, June 2018-January 2022. I joined the Diem project (it was named Libra back then) in 2019 as CTO and stayed until its closing. I explain the stablecoin structure Diem built over a purpose-built blockchain. In the second part, I switch gears and talk about my current role as chief research officer at Chainlink Labs. Chainlink enables smart contracts to interact with the real world and to reduce trust in centralized intermediaries. I provide a glimpse into Chainlink Labs technology and a research outlook.
[Berkeley 2022], [ICL 2022], [ETH and EPFL 2022]  


Talk title & Abstract Where Links
Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) Protection on a DAG

   Many cryptocurrency platforms are vulnerable to Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) attacks, where a malicious consensus leader can inject transactions or change the order of user transactions to maximize its profit. This joint work with Pawel Szalachowski introduces Fino, an efficient method to implement an approach known as “Blind Order-Fairness”, which enables certain MEV protection to services that subscribe to it.
[Science and Engineering of Consensus 2022] [🎥]
Diem (formerly Libra) technology [UC Davis 2020], [CMU 2020], [ACM AFT’20], [UZH Blockchain Center Summer School 2020], [DSN’20], [TPBC’20], [FAB’20], [ITA 2020]  [🎥], [🎥]
Blockchains in the Lens of BFT and HotStuff

   In this series of talks, I introduced classical BFT foundations for blockchains which were gradually developed. They followed several blogposts I made, including [Blockchain/BFT] [The BFT Lens: HotStuff and Casper] [The BFT Lens: Tendermint], a [BEATCS fall 2017 tutorial],  and culminating with the introduction of the HotStuff algorithm [HotStuff-PODC2019].
[Northeastern 2019], [Swiss Blockchain Winter School 2019], [JHU 2018], [Usenix ATC ‘18], [BITCOIN ‘18], [Tsinghua-Cornell Blockchain Winter School 2017]  

General Distributed Systems

Talk title & Abstract Where Links
Flexible BFT and New Approaches in Byzantine Fault Tolerance [Chicago Booth 2019], [Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lecture 2019], [CES 2019], [BC ‘19], [Tokenomics 2019], [SHE256 Conference 2019]  [🎥]
BFT Reconfiguration [Swiss Blockchain Summer School 2017]  
Beyond Paxos [BIRS 2016] [🎥]
Randomized Gossip Methods: From Grapevine to SWIM [PWL Conference 2016] [🎥]
Foundations of Reliable Distributed Systems in Practice [Women in Theory 2016]  
CorfuDB: Transactional Data Services over a Shared Log [Princeton 2014]  
What happens when distributed systems go elastic? [SSS  ‘12, keynote]  
CORFU: Going Beyond Paxos [DISC 2011, keynote]  
CORFU: Transactional Storage at the Speed of Flash [LADIS ‘2011]  
Backend Consistency for Large-Scale Live Services [IPTPS ‘10]  
Dynamic Reconfiguration in Distributed Systems [TADDS 2010]  
Virtually Synchronous Paxos [A 30-Year Perspective on Replication]  
FairPlay - A Secure Two-Party Computation System [SMP 2004]  
Locality Aware network Solutions [WDAS 2004]  
From Byzantine Agreement to Practical Survivability [RCDS 2002]