The official diploma has arrived, and the Faculty of Science and Technology at Aarhus University has thereby allowed me to address myself as Doctor Dahl in future conversations!
That’s definitely it then, no more university for me, no more formal education, no more student identity. Let the existential crisis commence!
Successfully defended my Ph.D. thesis today!
The committee (Bogdan Warinschi, Kristian Gjøsteen, and Anders Møller) was there, the crypto group was there, and close family and friends were there — a big thank you to all of you for showing up and looking entertained!
Per tradition we went out for dinner with the group and the committee afterwards, this time at Den Rustikke with finishing beer at Cockney Pub (since we no longer have a flat in Aarhus we had to catch the last train to my parent’s in Esbjerg).
Super day, couldn’t have dreamt it any better..
Presentation used for my defense — never have a practised a presentation in front of an audience as much as I did this one; but it surely paid off.
It’s taken too long, it’s taken too much energy, but my thesis is finally done!
Part exhaustion, part laziness, and part lack of time, it ended up being a collection of my previous papers with a brand new unifying introduction stuck in front: under the title Symbolic Analysis of Cryptographic Protocols – Models, Methods, and Soundness I’ve gathered the full version of the Japanese paper, one of the French papers, and the full version of the Aarhus Eel. It turns out (I really haven’t been very streamlined in my research) that besides symbolic models and cryptographic protocols the three papers are also related through the expressive power vs usability scale: the Japanese paper aims for an efficient method suitable for non-experts, while the Aarhus Eel exchanges the hope for non-experts with an expressive power fitting for advanced modern cryptographic protocols such as secure computation. It took a while to screw this link together but it was a good day when it happened.
Obviously there was the small devil in my head longing for writing everything into a long proper monologue, avoiding the duplications and making it seem as if I have been a lot more streamlined during the last few years, but here, at the end, he has been far easier to keep quiet than I imagined — being done has been pretty hard to beat. Not that I’m unhappy with the outcome by the way, not at all; this is only about its ‘visual appearance’, and underneath it would have been exactly the same.
The next step now is for it to go through revision by my committee and then hopefully getting accepted. But for now it’s no-writing-and-no-computer for a while!