Over the next two months, I will be writing about my experience as a Research Intern at the IOTA Foundation (IF).
I applied for the role after working for several months on attack analysis of the pre-Coordicide Tangle and tip selection algorithms. At that time, I was working with University College Dublin as a Master’s student in Electronic Engineering and my research group became involved with some members of the IOTA Foundation.
In particular, we worked closely with the Attack Analysis team, which was lead by Bartosz, and when I joined IF as a research intern, it was natural for me to be paired up with Bart as my mentor. He kept me on track and made sure IF and I were getting the most out of the internship.
Week 1 for me was all about getting the lay of the land, and figuring out where I would best fit in. I was given the freedom to choose, under the supervision of Bart, which Coordicide-related topic I would focus on for the next two months. IF’s research division is distributed geographically in a way that the schedule of weekly meetings for each team is taken very seriously and always honored so that everyone can be up to date and stay productive. I spent much of my first week dialing into these meetings and getting myself up to date. I also arranged calls with some of the team members with expertise in their respective areas and discussed the specifics of what each of them was working on.
My main areas of interest lie at the intersection of three of the core Coordicide topics, which the IF Research team is currently focusing on: Cellular Automata (CA), Fast Probabilistic Consensus (FPC) and Rate Control. There is a significant crossover among these three topics and this is reflected in the team structures, with many researchers contributing to two or three of these groups. One of the unifying elements of these topics is the issue of decentralized random number generation (dRNG), a key ingredient of the post-Coordicide ecosystem. This is the problem to which I have decided to devote my next two months.
Wish me luck, and I will be discussing my progress in the next edition of this blog!