Fall 2019 Projects
Distributed Systems Simulation
Consensus mechanisms are a core topic in distributed systems. Consensus can be approximated or avoided (as with traditional internet architecture), or can be explicitly defined and executed in conjunction with Sybil control systems, as with many of the projects in the blockchain space. We design a system for simulating relaxed instances of various consensus mechanisms. The system is firstly an educational tool focused on a clean user experience, but the modularity of design and data pipeline have been carefully considered for future data analysis/ML workloads.
edX Blockchain for Developers
Blockchain at Berkeley is launching the Blockchain for Developers course on edX, which will provide prospective developers a comprehensive overview of relevant topics in blockchain development, as well as hands on experience in developing and deploying their own smart contracts. The course will cover the fundamentals of blockchain, the Solidity programming language, as well as relevant industry tools such as Metamask, Geth, Truffle, and Ganache. Through completing the course, students will be confident in their ability to develop and deploy blockchain-based solutions on important industry issues.
Financial Class Papers
The Financial Instrumentation team of Blockchain at Berkeley has switched gears from its past semester of researching bonds, derivatives, and credit swaps to topics in developing economies and the potential blockchain has in stimulating and revitalizing economies. From corruption and fluctuating currencies to foreign direct investment and identity ownership, we are eager to investigate how blockchain can reduce income inequality, curb centuries of societal injustice, and move towards global progression.
This project is focused on learning and contributing to zero-knowledge research. We start with modular math, RSA, Diffie-Hellman, and other cryptographic protocols, so we can understand their relation to technical implementation of zero knowledge proofs with the goal of contributing to current open-source projects working on zk theory, development, and optimization.
Derivatives Platform Research
Working on revolutionizing the financial industry through a better exchange to replace the slow swaps/bonds/forwards market. We aim to equalize potential in the financial industry through decentralization.
Fall 2019 Department Members
Co-Head of Education
Hello! I’m happy to be your Head of Education along with the brilliance that is Rustie Lin. Previously, I taught the Blockchain Fundamentals DeCal on campus, and led workshops and guest lectured at a potpourri of conferences and hackathons. Before Education, I served on some early consulting projects as well. You’re always welcome to come talk to me about anything, but I’m particularly interested in healthcare’s intersection with technology. In terms of blockchain, that manifests itself in varied interests in security & privacy, cryptography and distributed consensus. I love to read, learn new languages, play literally any sport except racquetball, and meet new people! Reach out!
Co-Head of Education
I lead the Education Department along with the wonderful Gillian Chu. I’m most well known for spearheading the BerkeleyX Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate MOOC program on edX, reaching over 102,000 students from 192 countries from around the world. I’ve also lectured for our sister course offered on UC Berkeley campus, as well as delivered technical talks and workshops internationally. In addition to Education, I have worked in Consulting to develop blockchain PoCs on Ethereum and also was involved in the BFT DHT project in Research. Outside of B@B, you can find me at any of the various cafes around Berkeley enjoying a pour over coffee and dreaming about blockchains, multi-cloud, swarms, and other big networked systems. You can find more about me on my personal website: rustie.xyz
Project Lead (Textbook)
I’m Nadir, Research Engineer at Quantstamp, former President of Blockchain at Berkeley, and a senior graduating from UC Berkeley in December 2019 with a BA in Computer Science. Alongside Rustie, I quality checked and instructed for the edX course with 100,000+ students from around the world, built off of the Blockchain Fundamentals course that I upgraded and taught for Berkeley students in Fall 2017. I’ve also given lectures to students and companies all around the world, from C-Suite executives at Qualcomm to university students from Taiwan. This semester, I’m leading a team to write a textbook based on my 3+ years of experience in the blockchain space, focusing specifically on non-technical readers to make blockchain significantly more accessible. In addition, for the B@B Consulting Dept, I’m leading a security evaluation for a company in the blockchain space to make recommendations for their design, business practices, and codebase to adhere to best practices and help their users feel safe.
I am a first year MBA student at Haas and a former educator. I’m interested in making blockchain accessible for non-technical audiences.
I am a sophomore at UC Berkeley born and raised in San Francisco, California. Currently, I am a Behavioral Economics major. My major highlights my interests for consumer psychology, economics, Kahneman, and Thaler, and allows me to create a self-designed major that concludes in a 40-page research paper. I am interested in computational psychiatry and the blockchain’s potential to better society by being used for social good.
Course Administrator and Researcher
I am an Economics major student in my senior year, and I also take classes in Data Science and Computer Science. I am interested in any topic that spans economics, finance and politics and on how technology can transform these spheres. Currently the Course Head for the Blockchain Fundamentals decal we offer on campus, leading the vision and execution of the course every week. Last year I was a member of the Financial Instrumentation and Development Economics research projects, as well as a TA for the courses we were offering.
I am CompSci & CogSci double major at UC Berkeley. I led the Blockchain for Developer workshop in spring 2019 and I’m also in charge of making content and teaching the new Blockchain for Developer decal in Spring 2020. Right now, I’m also involved in making the usability layer for Interledger Protocol. Besides school, I like motorcycling, playing drums, watching films and road trip with my friends.
DeFi Project Lead
I am a senior studying Computer Science & Economics. I am interested in making the financial markets (in particular OTC markets) more efficient through the use of blockchain. I am interested in everything decentralized finance and always happy to chat!
Project Lead (NFT Experiments)
Hi, I’m Brian! I was born and raised in SoCal, and I’m currently wrapping up my fourth-year of undergrad at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) and Economics. On campus, I’m heavily involved with Blockchain at Berkeley and its education side, helping lead a course on Blockchain Fundamentals which covers a variety of topics in the cryptocurrency and the wider blockchain space (go check it out!). Some of the things I’m particularly interested in include cybersecurity (particularly smart contract security), cryptoeconomics & protocol design, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs aka CryptoKitties). I also lead the Web Team at Innovative Design where I teach about UI/UX design principles and how to apply it to web development! This summer, I worked at Dapper Labs (the quirky team that brought you CryptoKitties, Cheeze Wizards, and Dapper Wallet) who are using the power of play to bring blockchain-based experiences to the next wave of users and adopters. I’m currently working on a new scalable blockchain called Flow as a core developer, building out necessary tooling to better enable developers to build dApps! While I’m not busy coding away on my computer, you might find me napping (99% of the time), (still) playing Pokemon Go, drooling over food/cooking videos (Bon Appetit/Buzzfeed/Tasty videos anyone?), or clicking “Going” to random events on Facebook.
DeCal Teaching Assistant
Hi! My name is Haena Lee, and I am currently a second-year intending to major in Computer Science and Art Practice. I’ve started my journey in blockchain education by currently being a member of the project team writing a textbook geared toward a non-technical audience and a discussion teaching assistant for our organization’s Blockchain Fundamentals DeCal. I’m still pretty new to blockchain in general, but topics related to security, cryptoeconomics, and the use of blockchain in criminal activities in particular fascinate me. When I’m not frantically typing away at my computer and chugging down a bunch of sugar/caffeine, I really like to cook, eat ice cream, play video games, and draw things not intended for one of my classes!
Hey everyone! My name is Faiz and I am a senior at Berkeley studying Political Economy with a concentration in International Trade. I am fascinated in studying capital markets, macroeconomic trends, impact investing, financial valuation methodologies, and social enterprise. In BaB, I work as a member of the financial instrumentation team, conducting research in transitioning bond and swap trading onto a blockchain platform, as well as topics in using blockchain to alleviate the pressures of developing economies, i.e., corruption, fluctuating currencies, etc. Outside of BaB, I am interested in sports, music, politics, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures! Hit me up if you ever want to chat!
I am a freshman studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Blockchain interests me as an incredible system to incentivize various stakeholders to work together using carefully-designed technical implementations. Right now, I am leading discussions at the Blockchain Fundamental DeCal course, writing a textbook to explain this technical subject to non-technical readers, and learning about decentralized identity management. Besides Blockchain at Berkeley, I like to go to hackathons [a lot of them!] and build new prototypes. Previously, I helped design Muse 2, the most popular consumer brain-computer interface on the market and worked at HAX, a hardware-focused venture capital firm, helping out with investment decisions and R&D support for portfolio companies. You can learn more about the things I make on my personal website: https://simonguo.tech. When I am not writing code or holding my soldering iron, I like to have some coffee, read classical Greek literature, and bike/scoot around neighborhoods.
Content Creator, edX Blockchain for Developers
Hello! I’m Nishaad, I’m currently a fourth-year at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Computer Science.
Some of the things I’ve worked on in the past include helping to write Blockchain at Berkeley’s previous EdX course, co-instructing the university’s flagship curricular blockchain course, modeling the tokenization of energy assets, and trying to create a new from of decision making based on bets. I’m particularly interested in how blockchain interacts with the world of economics and it can be used to incentivize people to make effective and socially beneficial choices.
You’ll usually find me trying to teach myself new stuff on the internet (these days I am trying to make a tool using the Spotify API), debating the intricacies of life with my friends, or buying La Croix at the supermarket.
Teacher Advisor for Blockchain Fundamentals Decal
Hello! I’m Janice and I am currently an undergraduate double majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at UC Berkeley. I am currently one of the Teacher Advisors for the Blockchain Fundamentals Class offered to undergraduate and graduate students at UC Berkeley, and a Teacher Advisor foreseeing this year’s BerkeleyX Blockchain Fundamentals Professional Certificate MOOC program on edX, reaching over 102,000 students from 192 countries from around the world. In addition, I am currently doing research on the applications of blockchain in healthcare, politics, and finance. Outside of Blockchain at Berkeley, I am a Technical Ambassador for JP Morgan’s Quorum, and have recently co-authored a published research paper on: The Disruptions of 5G on Data-driven Technologies and Applications, under the National University of Singapore. My core interests lie in Blockchain, Computational Psychiatry, and the intersection of technology and healthcare. In my spare time, I like to play basketball, cook, go on road trips with my friends, and listen to music.
Decentralized Identity Project Co-leader
Hey! I’m Matt and I’m a second-year here at Cal studying electrical engineering and computer science. I am currently helping out with leading the decentralized identity project as part of the education department where we are exploring implementing a blockchain to use for digitizing our identity. Outside of Blockchain at Berkeley, I worked on a blood pressure estimation device using PPG measurements to make blood pressure estimates from a single sensor placed on the wrist. I also enjoy swimming and watching my Minnesota Vikings beat other football teams. Interesting Note: I tried going vegetarian for a week this semester but have already failed the diet and have resorted back to my regular eating habits.
I am a second year Computer Science major at UC Berkeley interested in cryptographic protocols and security. I have led the Blockchain Fundamentals class for one semester, a university accredited course here at Berkeley, developed a cryptosystems working group which implemented various cryptographic protocols, and am now looking into zero-knowledge proofs. In the past, I interned with MetaMask at ConsenSys as a software engineer intern developing UI/UX features and currently serve as the co-founder of she256, a non-profit aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the blockchain sphere.
Decentralized ID project Co-Leader
I am a 4th year EECS major interested in teaching and interacting with new blockchain enthusiasts, and discussing and working on interesting use-cases. I’m particularly interested in large scale adoption of Blockchain technologies and hearing about cool initiatives in the area. Hit me up if you find something cool!
I like blockchain and am teaching the DeCal. Other things that interest me include coffee and research.