Giulia Fanti

I am an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I have a courtesy appointment in the Computer Science Department and am a part of CyLab. My research interests span the algorithmic foundations of blockchains, machine learning, distributed systems, and privacy-preserving technologies.

News

9/15/2018: I am honored to receive the 2018-2019 World Economic Forum Global Future Council Fellowship in Cybersecurity.

8/25/2018: Alankar Jain has been named a 2018-2019 Siebel Scholar. Congratulations, Alankar!

8/15/2018: Our work on anonymous routing for cryptocurrencies (Dandelion) has been assigned a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) number (156). It also has been/is being integrated into BitMessage, Grin, and soon ZCoin.

3/26/2018: Check out Zinan Lin's and Sewoong Oh's YouTube interview on our PacGAN paper.

10/2/2017: Zinan Lin was named a CMU Presidential Fellow for the 2017-2018 academic year. Congratulations, Zinan!


Research Group


Members

Ph.D. Students

M.S. Students

Alankar Jain

Undergraduate Students

Kathleen Ruan


Topics

Cryptocurrencies

Blockchains are useful for storing data in distributed systems with limited trust. I am interested in designing scalable blockchains that account for resource constraints in the network and in individual devices. This work ranges from protecting users' privacy to building faster consensus algorithms. A common theme in this work relies on explicitly modeling device or network behavior, and using these models to design more efficient algorithms with theoretical guarantees.


Generative Adversarial Networks

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) are a technique for learning a generative model from data. They have been tremendously successful at producing high-quality, sharp images. However, they are not well-understood. I am interested in studying the dynamics of GANs themselves (e.g. improving diversity and interpretability), as well as using them for the release of privacy-preserving datasets.


Privacy-preserving communication

Recent years have brought increasing levels of surveillance. I am interested in designing privacy-preserving algorithms that enable people to communicate freely without sacrificing privacy. I have been working on a few main problems within this theme, related to anonymous social media (e.g., Yik Yak, Secret) and anonymous peer-to-peer networks (e.g., Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies). A common theme in this work is that we wish to provide statistical anonymity guarantees against computationally-unbounded adversaries.


Publications


2018

  • Compounding of Wealth in Proof-of-Stake Cryptocurrencies
    G. Fanti, L. Kogan, S. Oh, K. Ruan, P. Viswanath, G. Wang
    [arXiv]
  • Routing Cryptocurrency in the Spider Network (to appear in HotNets 2018)
    V. Sivaraman, S. B. Venkatakrishnan, M. Alizadeh G. Fanti, P. Viswanath
    [arXiv]
  • PacGAN: The Power of Two Samples in Generative Adversarial Networks (to appear in NIPS 2018)
    Z. Lin, A. Khetan, G. Fanti, S. Oh
    [arXiv] [Code]
  • Dandelion++: Lightweight Cryptocurrency Networking with Formal Anonymity Guarantees
    G. Fanti, S. B. Venkatakrishnan, S. Bakshi, B. Denby, S. Bhargava, A. Miller, P. Viswanath
    [Sigmetrics 2018] [Simulation code] [Bitcoin Core reference implementation] [Bitcoin Magazine]

2017

2016

  • Rumor Source Obfuscation on Irregular Trees
    G. Fanti, P. Kairouz, S. Oh, K. Ramchandran, P. Viswanath
    [Sigmetrics 2016] [code] [slides]
  • Building a RAPPOR with the Unknown: Privacy-Preserving Learning of Associations and Data Dictionaries
    G. Fanti, V. Pihur, U. Erlingsson
    [PETS 2016] [code]
  • Metadata-conscious anonymous messaging
    G. Fanti, P. Kairouz, S. Oh, K. Ramchandran, P. Viswanath
    [ICML 2016] [IEEE TSIPN 2016] [code]
  • Algorithmic Advances in Anonymous Communication over Networks
    G. Fanti, P. Viswanath
    [CISS 2016]

2015

2014

2013

  • Multiresolution graph signal processing via circulant structures
    V. Ekambaram, G. Fanti, B. Ayazifar, and K. Ramchandran
    [DSP/SPE 2013]
  • Critically-sampled perfect-reconstruction spline-wavelet filter banks for graph signals
    V. Ekambaram, G. Fanti, B. Ayazifar, and K. Ramchandran
    [GLOBESIP 2013]
  • Circulant structures and graph signal processing
    V. Ekambaram, G. Fanti, B. Ayazifar, and K. Ramchandran
    [ICIP 2013]

2010

  • Wireless power transfer using weakly coupled magnetostatic resonators
    J.O. Mur-Miranda, G. Fanti, Y. Feng, K. Omanakuttan, R. Ongie, A. Setjoadi, and N. Sharpe
    [ECCE 2010]
  • Peak wireless power transfer using magnetically coupled series resonators
    J.O. Mur-Miranda and G. Fanti
    [EnergyCon 2010]

Teaching


Optimization

CMU (Spring 2018)

Signals and Systems

U.C. Berkeley (2013-2014)
  • Served as head TA for a course of 190 students. Coordinated roles and managed content development, such as homeworks and discussion notes.
  • Designed new labs centered around real-world applications like digital cameras and music recognition.
  • Led a discussion and lab section.

Digital Signal Processing

U.C. Berkeley (Spring 2015)
  • Served as head TA for a course of 80 students.
  • Designed homeworks and discussion lesson plans. Led a weekly discussion section.


Service


Professional Activities

Conference Tutorials

  • ISIT 2017 (Finding and Hiding Message Sources in Networks: Epidemics, Social Media, and Cryptocurrencies)

Organizing Committe

  • NDSS Workshop Committee Co-Chair (2018-2019)
  • ACM POMACS Information Director (2017-present)

Program Committe

Reviewer

  • IEEE Trans. on Information Theory (IT Transactions)
  • IEEE Trans. on Networks (ToN)
  • IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing (TSP)
  • IEEE Trans. on Information Forensics and Security
  • IEEE Trans. on Signal and Information Processing over Networks (TSIPN)

Volunteering

  • NextScholars (Mentor): Mentorship program for young women interested in STEM (2017-2018)
  • SEED (Mentor): Guided groups of Berkeley High School students in yearlong research projects on nuclear power, GMOs, and food deserts. (2012-2013)
  • TechBridge (Volunteer): Worked with groups of elementary-school girls on projects related to coding and basic electrical circuits. (2012-2014)

Contact


gfanti (at) andrew (dot) cmu (dot) edu

2118 Collaborative Innovation Center

Carnegie Mellon University

4720 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Short Bio
Giulia Fanti is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests span the algorithmic foundations of blockchains, distributed systems, privacy-preserving technologies, and machine learning. She has received the World Economic Forum Global Futures Council Fellowship in Cybersecurity, a best paper award at ACM Sigmetrics, and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She obtained her Ph.D. in EECS from U.C. Berkeley and her B.S. in ECE from Olin College of Engineering.