Hi, I am Mayank Varia.

I research theoretical and applied cryptography, and its applications throughout and beyond computing & data sciences.

About Me


I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University. I have taught courses in Foundations of Data Science (spring 21), Applied Crypto (spring 20, 19, 18, 17, 16), and MPC at Scale (fall 17 and 16).

Public Service

I am a member of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building; you can read our year 1 report here. Additionally, I chair the legal subtask group of the United Nations Privacy Preserving Techniques Task Team.

Professional Service

I was general chair of CSF 20 and co-organized two DIMACS workshops. I have served on the program commitees of Oakland (20, 23), Usenix Security (21, 22, 23), CRYPTO 22, CCSW (21, 22), CSF (18, 22), CCS 21, ICDCS 20, and CANS 17.

Centers & Initiatives

I am the director of the CDS Hub for Civic Tech Impact, co-director of BU's Center for Reliable Information Systems & Cyber Security, a founding member of the Cyber Security, Law, and Society Alliance, and a faculty mentor of the Codebreakers summer program.

Grant Awards

I am grateful for the research support provided by the National Science Foundation (Grants 1414119, 1718135, 1739000, 1801564, 1915763, 1931714, 1955579, 2209194, 2217770, and 2228610), DARPA (Agreement HR00112020021 and Contract N66001-15-C-407), and the members of BU's Data Privacy Collaborative.

Research and Publications

Here, I describe some major themes of my research along with links to selected publications.

You can find a list of all of my publications at DBLP and Google Scholar.

Data Analysis for Social Good

I deploy privacy-respecting systems in practice using cryptography, with a focus on empowerment and accessibility. Selected publications: SOUPS 19, and Compass 18. See also talks at DP-MPC 18 and Enigma 18.

Social & Legal Impact of Crypto

I examine the social impact of cryptography and the design of cryptosystems that achieve certain legal and policy objectives. Selected publications: ACM CS/Law 22 (a, b, c), Usenix Security (22a, 21), and FOCI 18.

Formal Analysis of Systems

I construct formal, composable proofs of security for cryptographic protocols and real-world systems. Selected publications: CRYPTO 22, CSF (19, 17a), and FC 17.

Program Obfuscation

My PhD thesis provides concrete methods to “obfuscate” or garble computer programs in a provably secure manner while preserving their functionality. Selected publications: TCC 10a, TCC 10b, and TCC 09.

Students Supervised

I am fortunate to have collaborated with several excellent graduate and undergraduate students.

If you would like to work with me, please send me an email if you are a current BU student, or apply to the university otherwise.

PhD students

I work with three PhD students: Nicolas Alhaddad, Julie Ha, and Ryan Little. Two former PhD students have graduated: Sarah Scheffler in 2021 (now a postdoc at Princeton) and Rawane Issa in 2022 (now a researcher at Galois).

Undergraduate students

I have supervised many students through the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates, BU UROP, and BU Kilachand Keystone project programs. These research projects have led to conference publications at ACNS 21, SecDev 19, and CSF 17b plus several GitHub repositories.

Contact Me

You can contact me on Mastodon.