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    14.06.09 — Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements The Maiman Outstanding Student Award of the Optical Society of America has been awarded to Georg Anetsberger for the work on ultra-low dissipation micromechanical resonators, selected at the 2009 edition of the CLEO/IQEC conference out of 920 student applications. Read the whole article
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    Education

    12.06.09 — Mediacom Just a few days after receiving the 2009 national prize for the most bike-friendly company, EPFL has been awarded a major token of recognition for its efforts in the environmental field: on 11 June it was presented with The First International Sustainable Campus Award on the occasion of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) Conference held at the EPFL until 12 June. Read the whole article
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    05.06.09 — Mediacom The paper "Short Chosen-Prefix Collisions for MD5 and the Creation of a Rogue CA Certificate" by Marc Stevens, Alexander Sotirov, Jacob Appelbaum, Arjen Lenstra, David Molnar, Dag Arne Osvik, and Benne de Weger, received the best paper award at CRYPTO 2009.  Experts have found a weakness in the Internet digital certificate infrastructure that allows attackers to forge certificates that are fully trusted by all commonly used web browsers. As a result of this weakness it is possible to impersonate secure websites and email servers and to perform virtually undetectable phishing attacks, implying that visiting secure websites is not as safe as it should be and is believed to be.  The team of researchers has now discovered that it is possible to create a rogue certification authority (CA) that is trusted by all major web browsers by using an advanced implementation of the collision construction and a cluster of more than 200 commercially available game consoles.  “The major browsers and Internet players – such as Mozilla and Microsoft – have been contacted to inform them of our discovery and some have already taken action to better protect their users,” reassures Arjen Lenstra, head of EPFL’s Laboratory for Cryptologic Algorithms.  According to the researchers, their discovery shows that MD5, a standard cryptographic algorithm, can no longer be considered a secure cryptographic algorithm for use in digital signatures and certificates. Currently MD5 is still used by certain certificate authorities to issue digital certificates for a large number of secure websites.  The expert team of researchers consists of: Alexander Sotirov (independent security researcher), Marc Stevens (Cryptology Group, CWI), Jacob Appelbaum (Noisebridge, The Tor Project), Arjen Lenstra (EPFL), David Molnar (UC Berkeley), Dag Arne Osvik (EPFL) and Benne de Weger Read the whole article
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    Research

    02.06.09 — Laboratory of Intelligent Systems The LIS launches its YouTube channel. Check out our videos. Read the whole article
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    Research

    01.06.09 — ENAC | Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering The project encompasses several research activities in the structural concrete laboratory (IBETON) in the field of the ultimate load capacity of concrete structures. Read the whole article
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    16.05.09 — Mediacom Federal councilor Pascal Couchepin participated in the May 14 groundbreaking ceremony for EPFL's future offshore campus in Ras al-Khaymah (United Arab Emirates). The event took place in the presence of the vice-governor of the region, Sheikh Saoud, as well as EPF Council president Fritz Schiesser and EPFL president Patrick Aebischer. This historic day represents another step in the development of the School, which can attract top researchers and create scientific and industrial partnerships with an Emirate that is economically thriving. Completely financed by Ras al-Khaymah, the new campus should welcome some 100 graduate level students in 2012. Read the whole article
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    Research

    16.05.09 — Laboratory of Intelligent Systems The LIS will be participating in the Festival de Robotique by presenting bio-inspired flying robots to the general public. Read the whole article
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    15.05.09 — Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements On July 19- 22 the 438. Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Seminar, organized by Tobias Kippenberg, Markus Aspelmeyer, and Florian Marquardt will take place in Bad Honeff. It will include invited presentations from leading groups in the emerging field of cavity optomechanics. Read the whole article
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    Research

    12.05.09 — Nanophotonics and Metrology In this paper, we present the design, fabrication, and characterization of wire grid polarizers. These polarizers show high extinction ratios and high transmission with structure dimensions that are compatible with current complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor(CMOS)technology. To design these wire grids, we first analyze the transmission properties of single apertures. From the understanding of a single aperture, we apply a modal expansion method to model wire grids. The most promising grids are fabricated on both a glass substrate and CMOS photodiode. An extinction ratio higher than 200 is measured. Read the whole article
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    07.05.09 — Mediacom Mr. Radu Jurca of the EDIC School received, end of April, the EPFL best thesis award for his work entitled "Truthful Reputation Mechanisms for Online Systems" under the supervision of Professor Boi Faltings. His thesis concentrates on the reliability of Internet forums. The internet offers tremendous opportunities for sharing feedback and ratings of products or services. Feedback forums, however, can be manipulated by users who deliberately lie with the ulterior motive of punishing or promoting particular items. Radu Jurca's thesis analyzes a complete range of settings for feedback mechanisms, and shows for the first time how to design incentives that make honest reporting the highest-paying equilibrium strategy even in the presence of large fractions of colluding raters that try to break the system. Applications are under way not only in online feedback forums, but also for less prominent problems such as self- monitoring of services. Read the whole article