Institute for Information Sciences

University of Kansas and UBRI 

The University of Kansas, due to its status as an institution at the forefront of innovation in technology research, has been selected as one of the few distinguished universities in the world to partner with Ripple's University Blockchain Research Initiative.

BioDiversity Database on the Blockchain

I2S Faculty: Drew Davidson, Perry Alexander

I2S Students: Tony Ma, Elizabeth Wyss

Collaborators: Town Peterson, Fernando Machado, Ali Khalighifar

This project develops a highly-available biodiversity research collection on the blockchain. Biodiversity research collections are an important tool for cataloguing, refining and sharing knowledge about biological specimens. These collections need to be flexible to support the wide variety of species, collection policies, and curatorial transactions. Furthermore, new information to be added as additional specimens are identified and processed while providing strong guarantees that records of existing findings cannot be erased. To meet these goals, we are using a hyperledger-fabric based solution to allow scientists to manage a collection securely and conveniently. This project is an interdisciplinary effort, including scientists from the KU Biodiversity Institute and I2S. 


The Parsae Distributed Password-Hardening Service 

I2S Faculty: Drew Davidson 

I2S Students: Elizabeth Wyss 

This project creates a distributed password hardening system on the blockchain. Our system, called Parsae, uses strong cryptographic primitives to advance the state of the art in pseudorandom function services, which limit the effectiveness of password guessing attacks, especially when a password database is breached or stolen. In the Parsae scheme, password attempts are required to interact with an online pseudorandom function (PRF) service in order to use a password. While past PRFs have exposed a vector for denial of service by shutting down the PRF service, Parsae uses the blockchain to ensure redundancy and force an adversary to scale an attack against an entire Hyperledger Fabric deployment instead of a single server. Furthermore, Parsae offers strong auditing capabilities, meaning that the Parsae service can be run in a semi-untrusted 3rd-party service. 

KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times