Jess Woods

I'm a PhD student in Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, advised by Sebastian Angel in the Security and Privacy Lab (within the Distributed Systems Lab).

I'm interested in applied cryptography and it's crossover with programming languages. My recent work has been in compilers for zero-knowledge proofs. I'm also passionate about making math/computer science education better and more accessible.

he/him | woodsjk (at) | GitHub | LinkedIn | CV

Picture (me!)


Flamingo: Multi-Round Single-Server Secure Aggregation with Applications to Private Federated Learning

Yiping Ma, Jess Woods, Sebastian Angel, Antigoni Polychroniadou, Tal Rabin

paper @ S&P 2023 (Oakland)

Efficient Representation of Numerical Optimization Problems for SNARKs

with* Sebastian Angel, Andrew J. Blumberg, Eleftherios Ioannidis

paper, talk @ USENIX Security 2022 | code | extended eprint

OpenMDlr: Parallel, Open-source Tools for General Protein Structure Modeling and Refinement from Pairwise Distances

Russell B. Davidson, Jess Woods, T. Chad Effler, Mathialakan Thavappiragasam, Julie C. Mitchell, Jerry M. Parks, Ada Sedova

applications note @ Bioinformatics 2022 | code

Modeling protein structures from predicted contacts with modern molecular dynamics potentials: accuracy, sensitivity, and refinement

Russell B. Davidson, Mathialakan Thavappiragasam, T. Chad Effler, Jess Woods, Dwayne A. Elias, Jerry M. Parks, Ada Sedova

paper @ ACM-BCB 2021 | code

*authors ordered alphabetically

Professional Experience

Sandia National Laboratories, hosted by Jennifer Cordaro, Chris Jenkins, Summer 2022

Thunderbird Kudos Award

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, hosted by Oscar Hernandez, Ada Sedova, June 2019 - July 2020


Computer and Network Security, Head TA, UPenn, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022

TA Award for Excellence (Student Nominated)

High School Java, Head Instructor, Steppingstone Scholars, Philadelphia, PA, Summer 2021

Discrete Math, TA & Lecturer, UNC, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

K-12 Math, Instructor, Reading Writing Arithmetic Center, Chapel Hill, NC, Summer 2018


Graduate Courses: Software Foundations, Analysis of Algorithms, Theory of Computation, Operating System Design and Implementation, Computer-Aided Verification, Cryptography, Computer and Network Security, Advanced Topics in Cryptography, Advanced Topics in Privacy and Anonymity, Writing and Speaking with Style

BS, Computer Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019

BA, Studio Art, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019

AA, Isothermal Community College, Spindale, NC, 2015

Other Research

Vulnerability testing for post quantum lattice cryptography implementations

Jess Woods, Jennifer Cordaro

Internal SNL Work, 2022

poster @ SNL | code

Programming models for fully homomorphic encryption on a supercomputer

Jess Woods, Ada Sedova, Oscar Hernandez

ORNL Student Project, 2020

talk @ P3HPC 2020 | ignite talk, python talk, poster @ ORNL | c++ code | julia code | python code

Using Python for Improved Productivity in HPC and Data Science Applications: the Time is Now,

Jess Woods, Matthew Baker, Mathialakan Thavappiragasam, Ada Sedova, Oscar Hernandez, Vivek Sarkar

white paper @ Collegeville Workshop 2020