Press Release

Cornell and Tsinghua unite in China for third annual blockchain workshop

Universities join forces to host International Workshop on Blockchain, powered by a grant from Social Alpha Foundation, with Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin set to deliver keynote

Xi’an, China – 6th December 2018 – Cornell University, an Ivy League research university, and Tsinghua University, a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities, have joined forces to host the International Workshop on Blockchain, due to take place in Xi’an, China.

The event was made possible by a US$150,000 grant from not-for-profit platform Social Alpha Foundation, aimed at blockchain projects for social good, as well as sponsorship from the Xi’An High Tech Zone, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Core Technology (IIICT), and the Conflux Foundation. The workshop will take place from 10th to 14th December at the Holiday Inn Xi’an Greenland Century City in the High-Tech Industries Development Zone (XHTZ), one of the most successful of China’s 114 national high-tech zones.

The workshop was originally founded and hosted by Andrew Yao, Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS) at Tsinghua University and winner of the A.M. Turing Award in 2000 for his contributions to the theory of computation, and Elaine Shi, Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University and Co-founder of ThunderCore, who wrote the first academic research paper on Bitcoin and decentralised smart contracts.

This marks the third year that the two universities have collaborated on the Blockchain Winter School, following successful instalments in 2016 on security and cryptography, and in 2017 on blockchain, which were held in Shenzhen and Beijing respectively.

The 150-person invitation-only event will include a keynote by Thiel Fellow and Ethereum Co-founder, Vitalik Buterin; Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Jacob Leshno; and Stanford University Ph.D. student, Ben Fisch.

Dean Yao said: “Blockchain is an innovative technology that has great potential to transform today’s business models and processes. Blockchain’s scientific inspiration originated from computer science and economics, and its successful future growth and development rely vitally on the continuing interaction and collaboration of scientists from many distinct disciplines. This workshop will allow like-minded individuals, all with a shared purpose of advancing the technology, to come together and learn from eachother.”

The event will feature talks on the Automatic Exploitation of Ethereum Smart Contracts, Decentralised Mining in Centralised Pools, Initial Coin Offerings and Platform Building, Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP), and Oblivious RAM (ORAM) by speakers from some of the world’s most renowned companies and universities including Google, Princeton University, MIT, UC Berkeley, and King’s College London.

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