(revised, Feb. 25, 2016)
Goal of the conference
The annual conference on quantum cryptography (QCrypt) is a conference for students and researchers working on all aspects of quantum cryptography. This includes theoretical and experimental research on the possibilities and limitations of secure communication and computation with quantum devices, how security can be preserved in the presence of a quantum computer, and how to achieve long distance quantum communication. The conference includes, but is not limited to, research on quantum key distribution.
It is the goal of the conference to represent the previous year’s best results on quantum cryptography, and to support the building of a research community.
Format of the conference
In order to achieve this goal, the conference features both invited and contributed talks, selected by the steering committee and program committee, respectively. In addition, the steering committee invites up to 5 focus tutorials, one preceding each day, with the goal to ease communication between the different subfields.
In addition, QCrypt features a poster session and an industry exhibit. To further connections to industry, QCrypt also includes an industry session consisting of a panel discussion or short presentation. To share latest advances, QCrypt includes a hot topic session, in which very recent (post-deadline) and high-quality research results are selected and presented. To inform the public, QCrypt typically includes a talk for the general public outside the normal conference program.
QCrypt also features a room that is open for working groups in quantum information. QCrypt is a community event, and participants are highly encouraged by contributing to the program by hosting their own organized sessions in the working group room. There are no restrictions on what this room may be used for, provided all QCRYPT attendees can participate and reasonable time will be available to different working groups. Rooms can be booked at the QCrypt Wiki http://qcrypt.wikia.com, which also provides room for the organization of working groups.
In line with the goal of showcasing the best results each year from all subfields, the conference has no published proceedings. Yet, contributed talks are highly competitive. QCrypt welcomes the submission of any interesting and important result, while allowing researchers from a wide range of disciplines to pursue publication in any venue appropriate to their field. For authors who want to put their abstracts to public, and to cite their presentations in QCrypt later, the local organizing committee offers an opportunity to upload such abstracts in an electronic form in the conference web site.
Oral presentations in QCrypt are recorded as videos. If presenters give permission, recorded videos as well as their presentation slides are uploaded to the conference web site.
The steering committee (SC) is responsible for shaping the medium- and long-term course of the conference series and for making sure that the conference maintains a high scientific and organisational standard. In particular, the SC has the responsibility to select the main organiser, venue and program chairs for the next conference. The SC has 8 members who serve for four years with two members being replaced each year. The selection of new members is made by the SC during the previous year. The SC chair is selected among the SC members, and is responsible for the external relations of the conference.
To ease communication between the SC and the local organization, a member of the local organizing committee must take part in the SC for at least the year before and during the conference.
The conference usually takes place over one week (Monday to Friday) in August or September. The venue is decided by the steering committee who tries to ensure a suitable rotation of continents wherever possible. The SC will solicit applications to host the conference approximately 2 years in advance.
The SC selects the invited speakers. At most half of the talk time of the conference can be given to invited speakers. The remaining talk time is reserved for contributed talks. SC members cannot be invited speakers, but are allowed to submit and present contributed papers.
The SC reviews submissions to the hot topic session, and selects hot topic papers which present very recent and high-quality research results.
The role of the program committee (PC) is to select the contributed talks. The PC is chaired by one theorist and one experimentalist, of which one will be the primary chair and one the co-chair. The PC chairs are selected by the SC. With input from the SC, the PC chairs select and recruit the PC members of typically 10 or more people representing the broad range of subfields in quantum cryptography. SC members may not simultaneously serve on the PC. PC members are allowed to submit papers and to present contributed papers. PC members must declare a conflict of interest on submissions to which they contributed so that they are not involved in discussing these papers in the PC.
Talks are reviewed and selected based on scientific excellence. The two PC chairs make final a selection from the scientifically excellent talks to create a balanced and interesting program, encouraging broad participation and representation of topics in QCRYPT.
The advisory committee (AC) advises the SC on the long-term direction of the conference series. The AC has at most 10 members covering a broad range of geographical locations and scientific expertise. The advisory committee is regularly informed by the SC about the progress of the conference organisation and gives input on future decisions, for instance on invited speakers and sponsorship contributed talks. AC members can be invited speakers, and are allowed to submit and present contributed papers.
Student paper prize
Since 2011, QCrypt features a prize for the best student submission. A submission is eligible for the student prize if and only if the main author(s) is/are a student(s) at the time of the submission and will present the work at QCrypt, and further a significant portion of the work (at least 60%) must have been done by said student(s), including the majority of the key ideas. Eligibility can only be indicated at the time of submission. The student(s) are responsible for notifying all authors that the paper was nominated for the student prize, and all authors have 14 days following submission to voice any disagreements about the paper’s nomination to the PC chair. The PC chair is free to ask for any clarifications regarding the students’ contributions at any time.
The PC will select up to 3 submissions for a shortlist for the best student paper prize. A final decision is made during QCrypt following a short interview of the student(s) by members of the PC. Being shortlisted for the best student award is a competitive distinction even if the student(s) are not chosen for the best student paper award.
The PC is free to make one best student award to theory and one to experiment in the same year, should students on the shortlist come from both areas.