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October 17, 2022
One of the most prestigious scientific research grants has just been awarded to researcher Bruno Loff, who will receive €1.5M by the European Research Council (ERC). The research grant will support the research in the field of Computational Complexity. In practical terms, it's a field of computing theory that "aims to understand which computational resources (time, memory or computation) are necessary to solve computational problems", explained Bruno Loff. "We would like to be able to mathematically demonstrate the security of several computer systems that we all use every day, i.e., hashing, pseudo-randomisation, encryption, digital signatures, cryptocurrencies, etc. However, we're still a long way from said reality”, he claimed, before stating that it will be possible to make significant progress in this area, thanks to the funding. The researcher received the Starting Grant, which aims to support young independent researchers who stand out for the excellence of their work; in this case, the funding will support the creation of a team with other two post-doc researchers, a PhD student and a master’s student. As to the expected results, and according to the researcher, this research grant will contribute to building a future characterised by a greater confidence in the computer systems on which we depend. Bruno Loff stated that receiving the grant is the realisation of a professional dream that will allow him to "establish a group of people to explore topics related to this area, in Portugal". Thanks to the Starting Grant, Bruno Loff assures that "in the short and medium term, there'll be the conditions necessary to establish a hub of scientist with advanced training in computing theory", something that "is crucial, so that the Faculty of Sciences can provide training to undergraduate and master’s students". Bruno Loff is 37 years old and holds a PhD from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam (Netherlands), and a postdoctoral degree from Univerzita Karlova (Charles University) in Prague (Czech Republic). In 2017, he joined INESC TEC as a researcher, and he’s currently an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto.