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Lilya Budaghyan - Interview with the Trond Mohn Foundation

We have invented new methods to construct optimal cryptographic Boolean functions and created new families of optimal functions.

Lilya
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Lilya

Prof. Lilya Budaghyan receives the Trond Mohn Foundation Starting Grant from 2017 to 2021 for the research project Construction of Optimal Boolean Functions. In a recent interview with the TMS, she explained the content of her project and talked about the progress in the project.

What is the project about?
- The project focuses on multidisciplinary issues in mathematics and information theory related to the construction of optimal Boolean functions. The solutions to these issues are both theoretical and practical. It can improve the reliability and security of modern communication systems and have a strong impact on many branches of mathematics.

Briefly tell about the results of the project and how the project has affected the field and/or the community.
- We are in the middle of a very ambitious project, but we have already solved many key challenges in the project. Specifically, we have invented new methods to construct optimal Boolean functions and created new classes of such functions. We have examined several of the properties of the functions and already have a better understanding of Boolean functions. In addition, the project has had a strong impact on the international research community. We have established an annual workshop on Boolean functions and their application (Boolean Functions and their Application) and a special issue on the same topic that is published annually. We have also established a new database and wikipedia for Boolean functions, as well as a new prize (George Boole) for prominent contributions to the Boolean function theory. In addition to the BFA workshops (BFA 2017, BFA 2018, BFA 2019), we have organized three other conferences; WAIFI 2018, MMC 2017 and Emil Artin Conference 2018.

What significance did the scholarship have for your further career?
- The project allowed me to establish a dedicated team that researches Boolean functions, consisting of both young research talents and recognized talents, for a total of nine people. The team is part of the Selmer Center, a center for secure communication at the Department of Informatics, which consists of a total of 25 people. Two years after I started this project, I became a professor, head of the Selmer Center and a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Technology (NTVA).