[macs-faculty] Questions for the MACS team

Mayank Varia varia at bu.edu
Fri Oct 7 08:10:57 EDT 2016

On behalf of the entire MACS team, I am sending along our responses to the
panelists' excellent questions.


On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 6:04 PM Amla, Nina <namla at nsf.gov> wrote:

> Ran, Mayank,
> These are the questions.
> Nina
> 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
> response?
> 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 research?
> 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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