University of Waterloo among founding members of Algorand Foundation’s Global University Program

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The University of Waterloo has joined other leading universities around the world to support the Algorand Foundation’s Global University Program.

The inaugural membership institutions represent a diverse mix of influential researchers in computer science and blockchain innovation. The Algorand Foundation was established to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to join the Algorand community, participate in blockchain innovation, and contribute to a new borderless knowledge economy. The founding members share the Algorand Foundation’s vision for the potential of blockchain as an instrument for social justice and global good. 

photo of Sergey Gorbunov and Srinivasan Keshav

L to R: Sergey Gorbunov and Srinivasan Keshav

In addition to the University of Waterloo, the founding members of the Algorand Foundation’s Global University Program are the following institutions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peking University, Sapienza University of Rome, Stony Brook University, Tel Aviv University, Tsinghua University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Salerno and Università della Svizzera Italiana.

These member institutions will be involved in technical research and supporting the decentralized Algorand platform. Each institution has a program representative who works closely with the foundation. As advisors, program representatives also identify areas of potential development and innovation in both blockchain technology and cryptographic techniques.

“The University of Waterloo’s membership in the Algorand Foundation’s Global University Program will expand opportunities for faculty and graduate students to work and collaborate with top blockchain and cryptography researchers,” said Sergey Gorbunov, the Algorand Foundation’s Head of Cryptography and Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo’s Cheriton School of Computer Science.

“We’re especially excited by the possibilities this new collaborative membership will make possible and I look forward to working with Professor Srinivasan Keshav, Waterloo’s representative on this global program.”

Algorand was founded by MIT Professor and Turing Award and Godël Prize winner, Silvio Micali, who gave a presentation on the Algorand blockchain technology as part of the Cheriton School of Computer Science’s 2017–18 Distinguished Lecture Series, an annual showcase of outstanding researchers in the field of computer science.

“Algorand is a permissionless proof-of-stake based blockchain platform, focused on scaling and improving user consensus,” said Professor Mark Giesbrecht, Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “Algorand’s pure proof-of-stake approach maintains high levels of security without the high-energy consumption and transactional costs that other blockchain technologies require.”

This program comes at a critical time where the benefits of blockchain to democratize key societal and environmental issues — such as the inequality of our financial system, overall distrust in today’s economic systems, ensuring the sustainability and safety of supply chains — are being recognized as a way for blockchain to be leveraged for social good. 

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