Abhinav Aggarwal

Untitled design

3135, Farris Engineering Center
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Email (UNM):  abhiag6891 at cs dot unm dot edu
Research                      Talks                       Internships

About me

I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico (UNM). I am currently working with Prof. Jared Saia and Dr. Thomas P. Hayes from UNM, Dr. Elaine Shi from Cornell University and Dr. Mihai Christodorescu from Visa Research. I like working on interesting mathematically challenging (the theorist in me!) problems, mainly in the area of security in distributed systems. My research topics of interest are Distributed Computing, with a special focus on Consensus, Security, Randomized algorithms, Resource Competitive Analysis and Machine Learning.

I enjoy writing blog posts on some interesting puzzles that I come across. Please navigate this website to read them. One of my personal favorites is this post where a puzzle relating to linear algebra and Fischer’s inequality is discussed. When I am not busy with my research, I like to spend my time by solving math puzzles, cooking, and traveling. I am also very fond of singing and creative arts.

Starting end of Fall 2017, I started organizing the UNM Computer Science Theory/Security Reading and Discussion Group (CSSEC-RG), which meets twice every week to help students and faculty members discuss the latest research in these areas. The schedule for Spring 2018 can be found here. Please let me know via email if you are interested in mediating the discussion for an available session.

You can find my CV here and access my LinkedIn here.


NOTE: In theoretical computer science, it is standard to list author names in alphabetical order. 


  • Aggarwal, A. Don’t Take Advice when Flipping Coins: Impossibility of Secure Coin Flipping using Weighted Majority. (Manuscript) (2018) [pdf soon]
  • Aggarwal, A., Luu, L., Mohavedi, M., Saia, J., Zamani, M. GenID: Sybil-Resistant Identity Generation in Peer-to-Peer Networks. (Manuscript) (2018) [pdf soon]
  • Freeman, C., Aggarwal, A., Merriman, J., Beaver, I., Mueen, A. Paying Attention to Attention: Highlighting Influential Samples in Sequential Analysis. (Manuscript) (2018) [pdf soon]
  • Aggarwal, A., Dani, V., Hayes, Thomas P., Saia, J. Sending a Message with Unknown Noise.  In 19th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN) (2018) [pdf] [talk]
  • Aggarwal, A., Guo, Y. A Simple Reduction from State Machine Replication to Binary Agreement in Partially Synchronous or Asynchronous Networks. (eprint.iacr.org: 20180116:131918) (2018). [pdf]


  • Aggarwal, A., Zamani, M., Christodorescu, M. Incentive-Driven Remote Configuration of Security Gateways. (arXiv: 1709.04569) (2017) [pdf] [talk] [poster]
  • Aggarwal, A., Dani, V., Hayes, Thomas P., Saia, J. Distributed Computing with Channel Noise. (eprint.iacr.org: 20170725:171227) (2017) [pdf
  • Aggarwal, A., Castellanos Joo, J. A., Gupta, D. Beating the Multiplicative Weights Update Algorithm. (arXiv: 1708.04668) (2017) [pdf


  • Aggarwal, A. On the Equivalence of Probabilistic Automata: A Brief Literature Review. Technical Report. UNM 2015. [pdf] [talk]
  • Aggarwal, A. Evolving Random Sequences using a Genetic Algorithm. Technical Report. UNM 2015. [pdf]
  • Aggarwal, A. Probabilistic Programs and their Verification: A Brief Survey. Technical Report. UNM 2014. [pdf]
  • Aggarwal, A., A Similarity Criterion for Sequential Programs using Truth-Preserving Partial Functions. (arXiv: 1708.05640) (Part of my) Master’s Thesis (2014). [pdf] [poster1] [poster2] [poster3]
  • Aggarwal, A., Kumar, PA Theory of Function-Induced Orders to Study Recursion Termination. Technical Report. IITR 2013. [pdf]
  • Aggarwal, A., Srivastava, R., Malik, S., Meena, K., Poonam. Virtual Differential Storage Based k-Rollback Concurrency Control Algorithm in Distributed Shared Memory Systems. Technical Report. IITR 2012. [pdf]
  • Jaya, Malik, S., Aggarwal, A., Sardana, A. Novel Authentication System using Visual Cryptography. In Information and Communication Technologies (WICT), World Congress (pp. 1181-1186), IEEE (2011). [pdf]


  • Aggarwal, A., Zamani. M, Christodorescu, M. Remote Configuration of Security Gateways. (Provisional) Patent (US – 62/547,701), Visa Research (2017).


  • Agree to Encash! Blockchain-style Consensus From a Classical Viewpoint. [slides]
    • UNM CS Colloquium, Albuquerque, NM. Feb. 2018 
  • Distributed Consensus and Blockchains: A Brief Tutorial. [slides]
    • UNM CS Student Conference (CSSC 2018), Albuquerque, NM. Apr. 2018.
    • (Invited talk) NetSec-2018, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India. Jan. 2018. 
  • How to trust without any trust?[slides]
    • UNM CS Student Conference (CSSC 2018), Albuquerque, NM. Apr. 2018.
    • CITP, Princeton University, NJ. Oct. 2017.
    • MIT-IBM J. Watson AI Lab, Cambridge, MA. Oct. 2017
  • Global SDN: Altruistic Attack Prevention. [slides]
    • Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Nov. 2017.
    • University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Oct. 2017.
    • MIT CSAIL, Cambridge, MA. Oct. 2017. 
    • Visa Research, Palo Alto, CA. Aug. 2017.
  • Interactive Communication for Large Networks.
    • 19th International Conference on Distributed Computing and Networking (ICDCN), Varanasi, India. Jan. 2018. [slides]
    • Visa Research, Palo Alto, CA. Jun. 2017. [slides]
    • UNM Stem Research Showcase, Feb. 2017. [slides]
    • Mid-South Theory Day, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dec. 2016. [slides]
    • UNM CS Student Conference, Apr. 2016. [slides]
  • A Short Introduction to Algebraic Manipulation Detection Codes. 
    • UNM CS Theory Seminar, Sept. 2016. [slides] 
  • On the Equivalence of Probabilistic Automata. 
    • UNM Term paper presentation, Apr. 2015. [slides]
  • Recursiveness, Computability and the Halting Problem. 
    • Graduate Seminar, IIT Roorkee, Sept. 2013. [slides]


  • Incentive-Driven Remote Gateway Configuration. Great Lakes Security Day, RIT, Rochester, NY. Sept. 2017. [poster]
  • A Similarity Criterion for Truth Preserving Partial Functions. Master’s Thesis Poster Presentation, IIT Roorkee, India. 2014
    • Basic Techniques for Truth Preservation. [poster1]
    • Transformational and Sub-structure Transformation Isomorphism. [poster2]
    • Turing Machine Reducibility and Categorization of Truth Preservation. [poster3]

Teaching Assistance

  • CS 6432 – Distributed Consensus and Blockchains. (Instructor: Elaine Shi), Cornell University, Fall 2017. [web]
  • EC 501 – Modeling and Simulation. (Instructor: Padam Kumar), Indian Institute of Technology, Spring 2014. [zip]


  • Oblivious data filtering. Abhinav Aggarwal, Mihai Christodorescu, Rohit Sinha. (Visa Research, Palo Alto, California, USA, Summer 2018)
  • A Folklore reduction from State Machine Replication to Binary Agreement under Partial Synchrony. Abhinav Aggarwal, Elaine Shi. (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, Fall 2017) 
  • Remote attack prevention and PKI establishment. Abhinav Aggarwal, Mihai Christodorescu, Mahdi Zamani. (Visa Research, Palo Alto, California, USA, Summer 2017)
  • Provisioning an Isolation Manager and Studying the Feasibility of Using Linux Control Groups for User-Level Isolation in Search Queries. Abhinav Aggarwal, Rahul Bansal, Chris Bond. (Google Inc., Mountain View, California, USA, Summer 2016)
  • Analyzing Test Frameworks and Dependencies for Porting the PDF-API test code. Abhinav Aggarwal, Ravindra Sushma Bhartiya. (Microsoft India Development Centre, Hyderabad, India, Summer 2013)
  • Optimizing VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) Comparison Tool for Dynamic VHDs. Abhinav Aggarwal, Priyank Gaharwar, Vinod Kancharla. (Microsoft India Development Centre, Hyderabad, India, Summer 2012)
  • An Arduino Based Hardware Prototype for Audio Level Indication (Opencast Matterhorn Project). Abhinav Aggarwal, Jim Greer. (ARIES Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, Summer 2011)