# ICM survey: Computing on the edge of chaos

August 10, 2014

*Guest post by Craig Gentry*

The 2014 International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2014) is coming up in a few days, and (like Boaz said) we have a great collection of speakers in the “Mathematical Aspects of Computer Science” section. As it is the weekend, and I am sure that you are looking for excuses to avoid sunlight and socializing, let me point you to my survey on homomorphic encryption and obfuscation, intriguingly entitled “Computing on the Edge of Chaos: Structure and Randomness in Encrypted Computation“. Also, let this post also serve as a gentle and timely reminder to the other ICM speakers to hype their surveys.

As you read it, I think you will be surprised and delighted by the clarity of the concepts. Sadly (for me), this will not be due to the quality of my exposition (which is notoriously poor). Rather, despite everything you have heard, homomorphic encryption schemes have become embarrassingly simple. A couple of years ago, Boaz and Zvika remarked on this blog that homomorphic encryption schemes “have been simplified enough so that their description can fit, well, in a blog post…”. Since then, they have become even simpler. (As for obfuscation schemes, well, that’s a different story, and my survey keeps to the high-level concepts.) Enjoy!

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homomorphic encryption is a huge deal & hope that it makes its way into implementations & commercial apps soon. & if significant and significantly more science showed up in blogs, that would be a great thing wouldnt it? waiting for the next breakthrough that will be announced 1st in blogs before scientific papers…. maybe this has already happened a few times eg with the discovery of Higgs etc….! it would be great to see a survey on that by someone!