April 10, 2018

Amir Goharshady receives IBM's PhD Fellowship

IBM PhD Fellowship is an extremely competitive awards program | PhD student Amir Goharshady is one of 22 recipient

The IBM PhD Fellowship is an extremely competitive awards program that was created to recognize and support outstanding graduate students. The program is open to universities worldwide, and every year, doctoral advisors nominate exceptional PhD students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many areas of research. In addition to financial support, the fellows are matched with a scientific mentor at IBM, and have the opportunity to take a 3-month internship at IBM.

This year, 22 fellows were selected from top universities and research institutes around the world, and Amir Goharshady, a 3rd-year PhD student in the Chatterjee group, is one of them. Goharshady's PhD research focuses on the quantitative analysis of applications that are executed on the blockchain. One very relevant example is the case of "smart contracts”: Smart contracts are computer programs that can autonomously receive, own, and transfer money in the form of cryptocurrencies. In particular, once a contract is deployed, its behavior is completely controlled by its code and cannot be changed by any external actor. Today, smart contracts own funds worth billions of euros, thus a bug in such a contract could easily lead to significant monetary losses. The aim of Goharshady's research is to develop the theory and tools to analyze contracts before deployment and to quantify the potential losses if a given contract were to be deployed.

All the 2018 IBM PhD Fellows:
https://www.research.ibm.com/university/awards/phdfellowship.shtml