Michael Dixon
Theoretical Computer Scientist, Mathematician, and Software Engineer

About

    I am a computer scientist focusing on theory, software engineering, and cyber security. I recently graduated from The University of Michigan's College of Engineering with a degree in Computer Science Engineering.
 

Languages: Python, C/C++, C#, Java, SQL, ARM, Verilog HDL, \( \rm\LaTeX \)

Software: 
 
Visual Studio, Eclipse, PyCharm, IntelliJ, Sublime Text, Git, Microsoft Visio, Adobe Fireworks, Fontlab Studio

Email:  Click to Request

Profiles:  Linkedin    StackExchange

Education:

University of Michigan, College of Engineering
B.S.E in Computer Science Engineering 2016
Minor in Mathematics

Past Coursework & Academic Studies:

Mathematics:

  • Computability & Logic:

    Mathematical Logic, Set Theory, Recursion Theory
  • Pure Mathmetics:

    Channel Coding Theory, Combinatorics, Linear Algebra, Abstract Algebra, Differential Equations

Computer Science:

  • Hardware:

    Autonomous Vehicles (Hovercraft), Microprocessors (FPGAs), Computer Organization
  • Theoretical Computer Science:

    Computational Complexity, Theory of Computation, Kolmogorov Complexity, Descriptive Complexity, Randomness & Computation, Artificial Intelligence
  • Security:

    Cryptography, Computer & Network Security, Logics for Cryptographic Protocols
  • Software:

    Machine Learning, Databases, Programming & Datastructures, Algorithms, Video Game Design & Development

Other Fields:

  • Electricity & Magnetism
  • Money & Banking
  • Knowledge & Reality
  • Mind & Machine
  • Philosophy of Mathematics
  • Constitutional Law

Recent Work & Research Experience:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Undergraduate CSAIL Researcher 2012
  • Worked under the guidance of Professor Scott Aaronson.
  • Researched the correspondences between function algebras capturing function classes and descriptive logics that capture the analogous decision classes.
  • Discovered that the bounded recursion present in function algebras align with the roles that inductive depth and quantification assume in Descriptive Complexity.

The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA & Ft. Meade, MD
Cyber Security Intern 2009 - 2010
  • Composed a detailed report introducing new perspectives on the security implications of online virtual economies.
 

Projects & Other Works:

Indirect Diagonalization for TISP Lower Bounds for SAT and Extensions Via Generalized Quantifiers [2013]
EECS 574 - Computational Complexity Theory
  • Surveyed previous methods used to prove TISP (time, space) lower bounds for problems such as Boolean SAT
  • Sketched proofs used by Ryan Williams in his 2007 PhD thesis that produced the best known TISP lowerbounds for SAT
  • Examined the possibility of improving these bounds by generalizing Williams' approaches to include generalized quantifiers rather than solely comparing existential and universal quantifiers
Shai-Hulud: A Prototype iOS Rootkit [2012]
EECS 588 - Advanced Computer & Network Security
  • Created a new type of rootkit that circumvents the Apple iOS sandbox to root an iPhone or iPad while hiding within the sandboxed installations of legitimate applications
  • Demonstrated the attack by showing an infected and sandboxed Facebook app infecting a clean installation of Instagram
  • Detailed the vast number of ways and ease this rootkit could spread, including those through popular piracy scenes, synced iTunes libraries, and local networks
Attack Presentation on iOS Jailbreaking [2012]
EECS 588 - Advanced Computer & Network Security (Team Member)
  • Gave a 30-40 minute presentation introducing iOS jailbreaking by explaining and analyzing the wide variety of techniques used
  • Presented a technical overview and demonstration for two complex jailbreaking techniques, each requiring multiple vulnerabilities
SWARM-AI: Microprocessor Based Multi-Agent Orchestra [2011]
EECS 100 - Microprocessors & Toys (Team Member)
  • Created a concept, timeline, and plan for a system of independent FPGAs that exhibited swarm like behavior to form a synchonized orchestra and interactive group of musical devices
  • Implemented the system using a custom made assembly language developed throughout the course and based in Verilog

Nuclear Fission Particle Simulation [2011]
PHYSICS 260 - Electricity & Magnetism (Team Member)
  • Created a physics engine in python to simulate a nuclear fission reaction involving multiple isotopes and various fundamental forces
  • Added an interface and visualization to measure energy distributions of reactions in different shapes, configurations, and densities
  • Optimized graphics engine for better performance and the ability to run reactions with significantly more particles with high percision
Autonomous Tabletop Hovercraft [2010 - 2011]
ENGR151++ Hovercraft Team (Autopilot Team Member)
  • Wrote control algorithms to autonomously stabilize and actuate a hovercraft running on the Gumstix Overo platform
  • Worked with nine team members, cooperatively overcoming challenges with sensor calibration, vision data filtering, and logistics

Other Things:

Mentorships in Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science

    On a case by case basis, I occasionally offer one on one mentorships and lecturing to students eager to learn for no charge. The cirriculums are specifically designed to the student and are exceptionally rigorous. The expectation is that students conquer every anxiety holding them back and train themselves to engage with math and cs related material at research level.

    Since no specific background is presumed, students are quickly caught up to university level mathematics. From there, they are educated on various topics in pure mathematics, logic, and computer science. Below is a non-exhaustive sample of topics covered during these arrangments:
  • Calculus and Real Analysis
  • Abstract Algebra
  • Mathematical Logic and Probability
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Algorithms and Datastructures
  • Computational Complexity Theory
  • Theoretical Cryptography

So far, this arrangement has been extended to and taken on by four students over the past decade (since 2008).