Richard McPherson

(last updated: 9/11/2014)

Contact Information

Email: [my first name] (at)
Office: GDC 6.728E
Lab: GDC 6.710A


I am a fifth year PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin. My research focuses primarily on anonymity, censorship resistance, and general computer security. I am also interested in privacy and cryptography.

I graduated from the University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences in 2010 with a BA in Physics and Computer Science.

Outside of research and classes, I fence epee and am an armourer for the UT Fencing Club.


I currently do security research under Prof. Vitaly Shmatikov. My primary research is on developing new censorship resistant technology. I have also worked on mobile/web security.

Previously I worked for Prof. Brent Waters studying the security of two-way radios and their use of cryptography. We were able to break the security of ST-25 radio scramblers which were used by the NFL until 2012. We were also able to partially reverse the encryption of some commercial two-way radios.

I have also worked for Prof. Michael Walfish in the LASR group on verified outsourced computations. Among other things, I worked on proofs of correctness, optimizing cryptographic primitives, and implementing and testing the protocols.


Making argument systems for outsourced computation practical (sometimes)
Srinath Setty, Richard McPherson, Andrew J. Blumberg, and Michael Walfish
Network & Distributed System Security Symposium, NDSS 2012, San Diego, CA, February 2012

Job Experience

I have mostly worked on research over my summer breaks, but in 2012 I had an internship at eBay's X.Commerce in Austin, TX. While there I worked in the XFabric team to help design and implement a business-class messaging infrastructure.


I TA-ed CS 346: Cryptography in Spring 2013.