Michael Dixon

Theoretical Computer Scientist, Mathematician, and Software Engineer

About
I am a computer scientist focusing on theory, software engineering, cryptography, and cyber security. I am currently a Cyber Security Research Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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:
 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Advanced Study Program Fellowship 
2018 
Course 6 

 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 Mathematics:
 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, Quantum Computation


Security:
 PostQuantum Cryptography (Learning with Errors), Theoretical 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:
 Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM
Cyber Security Research Scientist 
2019  Present 
 Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA
Cyber Security Research & Development Engineer 
2017  2019 

 Proposed and designed an architecture for a scalable, efficient supply chain framework leveraging zero knowledge proofs and fully homomorphic encryption.
 Wrote tools using the angr framework that automatically compare and statically analyze program binaries while generating offensive payloads.
 Contributed to the architectural design, security analysis, and codebase of a lightweight cryptographic module for use in actively guided ordnance.
 Supported the transition effort for the Inherently Secure Processor by improving the software tool chain, onboarding coworkers, and writing documentation.
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.

Conferences & Workshops:
 1st ZkProof Standards Workshop, Cambridge, MA
 May 10th11th, 2018
 2nd ZkProof Standards Workshop, Berkeley, CA
 April 10th12th, 2019

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
 ShaiHulud: 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 3040 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
 SWARMAI: Microprocessor Based MultiAgent 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 cirriculum is 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 nonexhaustive sample of topics covered during these arrangements:
 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).


