To Stop Worrying on Other’s Opinion

We sometimes feel the need for other’s validation on everything that we do. Moreover, we often fear that other people will judge us negatively in what we do for them. These need for validation and fear of other’s judgement possibly could hinder us in giving our best shots in all things that we do. Imagine speaking in one presentation while fearing what the audiences think about us, the feelings are probably comparable.

Asking for constant feedback from others is the first thing that we could do in that condition. Rather than guessing or fearing the worst-case scenario, sometimes it is better to just ask them for a direct comment. A helpful person will gladly provide us with constructive feedback to help us grow to be better.

Yet in other cases, it is hard if not nearly impossible, to ask for direct feedback from the other parties. In this type of condition, it is then better to ask ourselves whether we already give our best shots and the best intention. Finding fulfilment in realizing the fact that we already offer our best effort and not setting our goal for other’s judgement is often enough.

To Stop Worrying on Other’s Opinion

TU Delft Personal Application Essay

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“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable”, This quote from The Art of War by Sun Tzu, as written on one of my Cryptography and Network Security text book, is what made me interested in this particular subject, Cryptography. As a computer scientist, we tend to measure a lot of things, and prepare of one consequences, using a worst case scenario approach. For example: how long a particular algorithm will run, what’s the likelihood of a cloud service failing, what happen when someone read my secret messages. Using worst case scenario mindset, that quote from Sun Tzu is just so in place of thinking on how to prepare from enemies’ attack, or in Cryptography term, Adversaries. We shouldn’t assume that our secret information will stay safe wherever they are, we should take precaution measures to protect them. Because of those motivations I am applying to TU Delft, choosing Master of Science in Computer Science, Software and Technology Track. To this very reason also I am choosing Cryptography and Information Security specialization. 

In the last year of my Bachelor’s program, I finished a thesis titled “Gentry’s Fully Homomorphic Encryption Scheme over Integer and Its Implementation Using the Python Programming Language”. Finishing this in a semester of four months with total credit of 6, I received a perfect score of “A” for both the thesis and the defense. This thesis was about an implementation of currently developed encryption scheme based on a 2009 Ph.D. dissertation of Craig Gentry from Stanford University. In his dissertation, Gentry bring up a scheme of a long awaited idea in the world of Cryptography, Fully Homomorphism in Encryption. This idea firstly posed by Rivest, Adleman and Dertouzous in 1978 yet have not find an implementation, allows us to delegate our data processing to a third party without granting them any of information regarding the data being processed, eliminating the need of fully trusting any third party that process our data. In my thesis, I implemented an integer version of Gentry’s scheme using Python programming language. I chose to use Python because of its availability in any platform, its support in multi paradigm of object oriented and functional programming, and also its features and libraries that ease me in code implementation. I also created some test cases to test the scheme’s performance in variable plaintext and key sizes. 

While browsing to the web pages of Computer Science School in TU Delft, it piqued my curiosity that in TU Delft you have several Special Interest Groups that does research on a lot of interesting subjects, one of the group that make me interested is the one that called Cyber Security Group where one of the research topic there is about Homomorphic Encryption. I got excited because not only it is quite similar with what I studied for my undergraduate thesis, but also this particular group is relatively new group in TU Delft, as new as January 2014, yet it has a lot of promising research topic there, for example: research about Secure Information Sharing, Lightweight Cryptography, and application of Quantum Information Theory. This special interest group focusing on Information Security and especially Cryptography is one of the thing that I hardly find in my previous university or even my country Indonesia, it was uncommon for a student to be interested in Information Security, let alone having special research group that do focused research on that particular subject. I also interested in the fact that in TU Delft you can expand your knowledge by taking a subjects that are not taught as part of our study program by following electives or minors. This is great because I would like to take elective course in Project Management, having worked in a small and new startup company in Jakarta allows me to have a deep knowledge in how a Software projects are done from start until finish, a course in Project Management will help me to re-evaluate my knowledge I gained from work experience and to find out more about other industry related Project Management. 

Information Security, particularly Cryptography, offers broad range of topics that still open for research. Personally, I would choose a topic in Quantum Information Theory. From what I read, Quantum Information Theory differs significantly from classical Information Theory in the term of unit that is used to store the information. In Quantum Information Theory, a qubit, i.e. quantum bit is used as a unit of storing information instead of a bit, this allows the information to be stored as a superposition state and continuous-valued instead of a discrete value of one-state bit. An advancement in Quantum Information Theory and Quantum Computing will also jeopardize most existing used Cryptosystems (for example, an integer factorization problem can be solved in polynomial time using Shor’s algorithm), thus researching a Cryptosystem that can survive beyond Quantum Computer and Quantum Algorithm usage will be interested. Quantum Information Theory also opens a new field in which collaboration with researchers from other discipline, especially Physics as Quantum Mechanic is one of the bleeding edge research topic in that field of expertise. 

I also interested in the topic of Identity Based Encryption and its usage using a biometric data. Usually one uses an email address as the ID in Identity Based Encryption to be used as a public key in the scheme, email is used because it is unique enough in the sense of uniqueness in ownership. This approach however pose a problem because it requires a receiver of a message to have a working email address so that they can derive a public key out of it, in the developing country for example, an access to create and use email address is bounded by internet speed, availability, and also people ability. What if we can use biometric data to uniquely identify each person and thus use it instead as a public key? For example we can use fingerprint scans, retina scans, or even DNA sample from a people and use it as a public key. One of the application of this idea is to be used as a way for a government to store its people data in secret, also enabling them and possibly another person to send a secret information to the people, e.g.: medical histories, tax reports, personal announcement, etc. 

To sum up, a prospect to study in TU Delft will grant me an excellent research opportunity with best of people in the world, allowing me to improve my knowledge and deepen my ability in solving real world problem. It will also give me one chance in a lifetime to bring back knowledge that I attained there to Indonesia, where research in the field of Cryptography and Information Security is still in its early days. Personally, I’m that people who believe in order to change the future we need to take an active part in it, applying to TU Delft is one of my first active parts in changing the future, to be accepted and studying for Master in there are the next steps. 

Prahesa K Setia

TU Delft ’15-’17
LPDP PK-31

TU Delft Personal Application Essay

The Hierarchy of Needs

According to Abraham Maslow in his famous Hierarchy of Needs, commonly drawn as a triangle with leveled sections, we as human need to fulfill our basic needs at the base before we can fulfill our other needs in the top level. He split the triangle into two distinct sections: the four very bottom levels called “defficiency needs” (consists of Physiological, Safety, Love and Belongingness, Self-esteem) and the four very top levels called “growth needs” (consists of Cognitive, Aesthetic, Self-actualization, Self-transcendence). In order for us to fulfill something in the “growth needs” parts, we need to fulfill our “defficiency needs” parts, all of it, Maslow said. Continue reading “The Hierarchy of Needs”

The Hierarchy of Needs

Ganti Pilihanmu Sekarang!

Misalkan kita sedang ada di sebuah kuis televisi swasta terkenal dan kita ada di suatu babak dalam kuis tersebut dimana kita diminta untuk memilih satu dari tiga tirai. Dari ketiga tirai tersebut satu berisi hadiah mobil mewah (harganya satu miliar rupiah, misalkan aja :p) dan dua lainnya berisi zonk (bayangin isinya kambing yang udah tua :p). “Silakan memilih salah satu tirai” sang pembawa acara menawarkan kepada kita. Kita memalingkan pandangan ke arah penonton. “Nomor satu!” salah satu teman terbaik kita berkata. “Iya, pilih nomor satu aja!” teman kita yang satu lagi menimpali. “Saya pilih tirai nomor satu!” kita berkata ke sang pembawa acara. “Anda yakin?” sang pembawa acara bertanya. Kita yang ngerasa sangat yakin dengan pilihan pun menjawab “Saya yakin!”. Sang pembawa acara yang pastinya mengetahui isi dari ketiga tirai tersebut akhirnya berkata “Baiklah, sekarang mari kita buka tirai lainnya!”, sembari membuka tirai nomor tiga. Ternyata tirai tiga adalah zonk! Isinya seekor kambing. “Wah anda beruntung tidak memilih tirai nomor tiga” sang pembawa acara berkata. “Apakah anda ingin mengganti pilihan tirai anda?” dengan raut muka yang baik hati sang pembawa acara memberikan tawaran kepada kita. “Hmmm…” kita berpikir dengan serius. Haruskah kita mengganti pilihan kita? Continue reading “Ganti Pilihanmu Sekarang!”

Ganti Pilihanmu Sekarang!

Harapan, Impian dan Doa

“Apakah kamu puas masuk sekolah ini?” Sang kakak kelas bertanya, berhadapan dan bertatap muka denganku.

“Hmm, kalo nurutin kata hati sih nggak puas mas, manusia nggak punya batas kepuasan atas keinginannya.” Aku menjawab, mencoba se-tegas mungkin.

“Baguslah kalo gitu, jadikan itu semangatmu, jangan puas dan bangga hanya dengan masuk sekolah ini, buatlah sekolah ini bangga karena punya kamu sebagai muridnya.” Sambung si kakak kelas, sambil menempelkan tempelan dari kertas ke nametag-bentuk-bola yang aku kalungkan, kalung yang bertuliskan “P” (P = Plegmatis) dan berbagai macam tempelan yang aku dapatkan dari berkeliling koridor utama dari SMA-ku, hanya bisa berjalan satu arah, mengajarkan kita fokus dan berpikir kritis.

Kakak kelas yang tadi adalah “rintangan” terakhir dalam masa pra-MOS saat aku SMA dulu, “rintangan-rintangan” sebelumnya pun sama, bertatap muka, diskusi, mengajarkan kemampuan fokus dan berpikir kritis. Dan iya! Tidak ada yang namanya bully-membully atau kekerasan semasa Masa Orientasi Siswa, benar-benar asyik, seandainya nggak ada tugas-tugas yang menggila sampe dikerjain malem-malem..haha.

Continue reading “Harapan, Impian dan Doa”

Harapan, Impian dan Doa