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Two FnR Inter Grants Awarded to SnT

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Published on Monday, 14 October 2019

We’re pleased to announce that the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) and their partners at Luxembourg’s Funds Nationale de la Recherche (FNR) have awarded two of our own -- Professor Jean-Sebastien Coron and Professor Sjouke Mauw -- with their prestigious INTER Grant. The INTER Grant is a highly competitive grant that is open to applications from all disciplines, and in 2019 only four were awarded. The INTER Grant is designed to encourage greater cooperation between French and Luxembourgish researchers and each project is a cross-border collaboration.

One award has been granted to the SWITECH project, lead by Professor Jean-Sebastien Coron in cooperation with the Universite de Versailles. Professor Coron and his team will develop methods to obfuscate a cryptographic tool’s implementation from a savvy hacker who has access to the device’s hardware. This approach, called “white-box cryptography,” is currently a “hot topic,” says Professor Coron. “We are particularly pleased to be working with our partner and industry leader CryptoExperts,” Professor Coron continues. It is a market-driven, industrial research project that could yield big results for securing our increasingly connected world.

Professor Sjouke Mauw has been awarded a grant for his interdisciplinary “SLANT” Project, which will develop natural language processing (NLP) methods to identify biased interpretations or presentations of known facts – an important topic at a time when the world’s democracies are plagued not merely by fake news, but also by polarization and mistrust. “The real challenge here is to identify and measure differences that could help readers more readily understand the textual context, without eradicating or stigmatizing differences of opinion,” explains Professor Mauw. The project will pursue ways of identifying what academics call “interpretive bias,” as well as ways bias can be written into algorithms themselves and ways bad-faith actors might attempt to game an algorithm. 

SnT is turning 10! We’ve come a long way since launching our activities in 2009. Stay tuned for a year full of celebrations, cutting-edge research, and new milestones.