[macs-faculty] Fwd: Questions for the MACS team

Mayank Varia varia at bu.edu
Thu Oct 6 18:12:57 EDT 2016

Here is the list of questions we must answer tonight.


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Amla, Nina <namla at nsf.gov>
Date: Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: Questions for the MACS team
To: canetti at bu.edu <canetti at bu.edu>, Mayank Varia <varia at bu.edu>
Cc: Hodges, Timothy <THODGES at nsf.gov>, Nikolich, Anita <ANIKOLIC at nsf.gov>

Ran, Mayank,
These are the questions.

Questions for the MACS Frontier Team

1.       How does the MACS project make decisions about the direction and
scope of the project?  For example, how does project management interface
with the MOC?  Can you give an example of a direction that you decided was
out of scope for MACS?

2.       Please give us your top three example activities that
Frontier-level funding has enabled, which would not have been made possible
by distinct, independent awards.

3.       The MACS response to the Year 1 Site Visit report said that MACS
would deliver a “logical framework” as part of the Year 2 annual report.
Was the architecture diagram presented at the beginning of each talk
intended to represent the logical framework promised in the Year 1

4.       In his opening presentation Ran presented four solution
strategies: Secure hardware, HE + oblivious computation, distributed secure
computation, and the HIL.  Some of these approaches are competitive with
each other; do you envision some of these approaches subsuming others?  How
can they be combined if the threat models are so different?

5.       Differential Privacy gives a statistical guarantee which is
qualitatively different from the hypothesis required by the UC framework’s
composition theorems.  Can you clarify your plans for integrating DP into
the UC framework?

6.       Apart from NTP, what more do you have in mind for network-related

7.       Section 6.3 of the original MACS proposal described a number of
activities involving EbbRT.  What’s the current status/plans of
establishing security in EbbRT, and specifically in analyzing EbbRT in the
UC framework?

8.       Industry collaborators and partners: who are your top 3 industry
collaborators and partners on MACS not at the application layer?  What
additional partners do you envision in the future? What are your plans for
interacting with and impacting industry?  How are you engaging with
commercial cloud providers?

9.       The Broader Impacts described by the MACS team are laudable.  Can
you clarify for us which activities were initiated as part of MACS?

10.   With respect to the Future Directions presented by the MACS team,
there was a long list of upcoming work items.  Now that you are two years
in, what do you believe will be the ultimate top 3 deliverables from MACS
at the end of the five-year contract period (apart from individual papers
and toolchains)?
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