Short CV: Sachin Lodha is part of TCS's Corporate Technology Office and heads the Applied Algorithms Group. Currently this group is actively working on problems pertaining to data center optimization, smart workforce allocation, and enterprise crowd sourcing. Further data privacy is one of their major initiatives. Efforts on this front have yielded several award winning Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) that are now part of TCS MasterCraft product suites.
Lodha graduated with a B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, in 1996 and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, in 2002. Since then he is with TCS Innovation Labs - TRDDC in Pune. He has contributed to several research articles; some of them have appeared in international conferences and journals. Sachin was also TCS's principal investigator for the TCS-Stanford collaboration on data privacy.
Title of Talk 1: Fun with Algorithms
Synopsis: An algorithm is a systematic procedure that produces—in a finite number of steps—the answer to a question or the solution of a problem. The name derives from the Latin translation, Algoritmi de numero Indorum, of the 9th-century Muslim mathematician al-Khwarizmi's arithmetic treatise "Al-Khwarizmi Concerning the Hindu Art of Reckoning." But algorithms go further back in time than this genesis of its name suggests, how can one ever forget the greatest common divisor algorithm learnt in high school mathematics? It first appeared in Euclid's Elements in 300 B.C.!
Since 1950s, the field of algorithms has prospered like never before with the advent of computers for obvious reasons. It is now a very vibrant field, rich in content and plentiful with problems, every new technological breakthrough bringing in with it new challenges for an algorithm designer, and therefore helping him retain his job too.
In our short talk, we will introduce audience to various types of algorithms, related notions, and their connections to the real world problems. We also promise lots of innocent looking puzzles, many of them play crucial role in algorithms design of today. We will end this talk with brief mention about the current research in algorithms, and its potential for tomorrow.
Title of Talk 2: Privacy—Challenges and Opportunities
Synopsis: These are most exciting times to be a privacy researcher since, in today's hyper networked world with global data flows, almost all major business and technology trends, then be it Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobility, BYOD, or Internet of Things, require deep privacy underpinnings. So there is ample opportunity to invent and innovate.
In this talk we begin by observing that security and privacy are fundamentally different notions. While security paradigm assumes a clear separation between users and attackers, in privacy paradigm users are attackers too, depending on the use intent, and therefore security controls such as standard encryption based mechanisms do not suffice!
Next we discuss the major goal of data privacy research, that is, to find the right balance between the two extremes of fully disclosed and completely withheld data that preserves both data privacy and its utility, and thus enable data sharing.
We then deliberate on two orthogonal efforts towards privacy formalization, namely, k-anonymity model and differential privacy. Both of them are not full proof, and yet are good frameworks for enabling fool proof data sharing in diverse scenarios.
Finally we close the talk with a brief overview of our work and description of some privacy problems that could have both practical relevance and theoretical meat.
Sachin P. Lodha
Qualifications: Ph.D. in Computer Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Title: Principal Scientist
Affiliation: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Contact Details: TCS Innovation Labs - Tata Research Development and Design Centre, Pune