Assistant Professor

Mohammad Hajiabadi joined the Cheriton School of Computer Science as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in July 2021. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, and prior to that a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley.

photo of Professor Mohammad Hajiabadi


  • PhD, Computer Science, University of Victoria, 2016
  • Master of Science, Computer Science, University of Victoria, 2011
  • Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, Sharif University of Technology, 2009

Research interests

Professor Hajiabadi’s research is in the area of theoretical cryptography. The design of cryptographic primitives needs to follow rigorous principles and it is important to understand which primitive and assumptions imply other primitives. This may allow further reduction of the necessary trust assumptions, which, if broken, compromise the system’s security. He has made fundamental contributions to the study of this primitives using minimal assumptions. One of his notable contributions is the first construction of trapdoor functions only from the well-known Computational Diffie-Hellman Assumption. All public-key cryptography and many more cryptographic primitives can be implemented using trapdoor functions. However, it was an open problem for decades to design a generic trapdoor function from the first assumption used for public key cryptography, namely the Computational Diffie-Hellman Assumption. Many subsequent works built on this result, e.g., for communication-efficient multi-party computation protocols or new constructions of public-key cryptography.

Professor Hajiabadi regularly publishes in the top venues for cryptography (CRYPTO, EUROCRYPT and ASIACRYPT) and in other top venues specialized in theoretical cryptography, such as the Theoretical Cryptography Conference sponsored by the International Association of Cryptology Research, the world’s premier organization of researchers in cryptography. 

As of March 2021, Professor Hajiabadi has published 18 peer-reviewed publications, including 10 in the above top-tier venues. Collectively, his publications have been cited more than 168 times with an h-index of 8 from Google Scholar. His 2018 paper “New Constructions of Identity-Based and Key-Dependent Message Secure Encryption Schemes,” which was presented at the International Conference on Practice and Theory of Public-Key Cryptography, is one of the most cited papers at that annual meeting, having been downloaded more than 2,200 times and cited 40 times as of March 2021.

University of Waterloo
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