Hello there Tobias Pulls..
Where do you work and what do you work with?
I'm a researcher at Computer Science, Karlstad University. I work with computer security and privacy, in particular around applied cryptography.
What have you studied?
Computer science, first a masters and then a phd, both here at Karlstad University.
Why is it that math is so fun?
Because, for computer science, it's captivatingly useful and useless at the same. Used right it's an incredibly powerful tool that offers deep insight into complex problems. Stray too far and you'll quickly find yourself doing math for math’s sake, which might be fun, but not immediately useful. The processing of finding and walking this line is what makes math fun for me.
In what way do you work with math within your profession?
I primarily use math to prove that models of computer systems have different security and privacy properties.
What in your career has been challenging?
Figuring out what to spend my time on. Computer science and IT is eating the world with no sign of slowing down. Increasingly, security and privacy issues with computer systems are actually security and privacy issues with society. We're still naive when it comes to the role of IT in society and it's easy to contribute right now to something that does more harm than good.
Working mostly on defending instead of attacking computer systems has also been challenging: as a defender you have to be perfect while an attacker only has to get lucky once. On the flip-side, this is also what makes cryptography and mathematics so interesting: here defenders have an unfair advantage.
What topic are you going to talk about on the Sonja Kovalevsky days?
How mathematics is used to design secure and privacy-friendly computer systems.