This Wednesday, at 3:00pm, in room 412, John Steinberger from Tsinghua University will give us introduction to the indifferentiability framework and its applications to the design of hash functions and block ciphers. The talk will eventually focus of John's recent work about indifferentiability of substitution-permutation networks (SPNs). SPNs form one of the most common design paradigms when building block ciphers (e.g., AES). Yet, they received little attention from the theory community so far.
John promised to keep the talk introductory (especially the first part). Moreover, despite its fundamental importance to practice, this general area is one of the few areas not touched by "MIT sharks and friends", so it could be a good area to work on!