Dan Wallach,
Associate Professor
Rice University
Houston, Texas

“Electronic Voting:
Risks and Research”


Dan Wallach is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas and is the associate director of NSF's ACCURATE (A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable and Transparent Elections). A collaborative project involving six institutions, ACCURATE is investigating software architectures, tamper-resistant hardware, cryptographic protocols and verification systems as applied to electronic voting systems. Wallach earned his bachelor's at the University of California at Berkeley and his PhD at Princeton University. His research involves computer security and the issues of building secure and robust software systems for the Internet. Wallach has testified about voting security issues before government bodies in the U.S., Mexico, and the European Union.


SEPTEMBER 11th, 2006 - 12:00 pm cst
ACES Building, Room 6.304
Department of Computer Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin


Hanging chads, among other issues with traditional voting systems, have sparked great interest in managing the election process through the use of newer electronic voting systems. While computer scientists, for the most part, have been warning of the perils of such action, vendors have forged ahead with their products, claiming increased security, reliability, and accuracy. Many municipalities have adopted electronic systems and the number of deployed systems is rising. To the limited extent that independent security analyses have been published, the results have raised serious reservations about the quality of these systems to resist attacks. This talk will describe problems we and other researchers have discovered and will consider the limitations of the certification processes that should have guaranteed some quality control. These issues, in turn, give rise to a variety of interesting research problems that span computer science, human factors, and public policy. In this talk, we will consider how both established and open research in software engineering, distributed systems, and cryptography can and should impact the next
generation of voting systems.

Dan Wallach's homepage

Rice University Department of CS