Dr. Christopher Thorpe is a computer scientist whose research
focuses on security and cryptography in business and finance,
but also includes security and economics of virtual worlds
and how great Internet applications are created.
Christopher Thorpe refers to himself in the
third person at the beginning of the web page so that
search engines excerpt a reasonable part of the page. (This trick worked!)
William Yuen, Paul Syverson, Zhenming Liu, and Christopher Thorpe, Intention-Disguised Algorithmic Trading, Harvard Technical Report TR01-10; a short version appeared in Proceedings of Financial Cryptography and Data Security '10 (FC10).
David C. Parkes, Michael O. Rabin and Christopher Thorpe: Cryptographic Combinatorial Clock-Proxy Auctions, to appear in Proceedings of Financial Cryptography and Data Security '09 (FC09). (Link is to a pre-proceedings version; please ask permission before redistributing.)
From 2000-2002 I worked on internationalization of VoiceXML and speech recognition software at Tellme Networks. I coordinated efforts among dozens of engineers, content developers and speech experts in Belgium and California to deliver an internationalized voice application platform running on North American and European telephony infrastructure. Tellme was acquired by Microsoft in April 2007.
From 1998-2000 I worked on e-commerce at Yahoo!, after the startup I was with, Viaweb, was acquired by the big Y. Some of my user interfaces are still in use on Yahoo! Store and Shopping. Before leaving, I was responsible for leading the engineering efforts in the internationalization of Yahoo's e-commerce properties, including Auctions, Store, Shopping, Classifieds, and others.
I am an inventor on US patents 8,024,274 and 8,526,621 (based on work in my dissertation); and 7,051,024, 6,349,316, and 5,924,108 (including work I did in my Microsoft internship).
I also founded three startups that didn't make it.
Ask me why. One answer:
"All successful startups resemble one another,
but each unsuccessful startup is unsuccessful in its own way."
(me, after Tolstoy)
Vocations and Other Interesting Facts:
I'm now maintaining the collection of Rabinisms, quotes by Michael O. Rabin.
Singing, conducting, and composing in the style of early music
Nunc Dimittis, Short Service in A, 2002 (composed and performed by me)
Nunc Dimittis, Dorian Short Service, 2007. Dedicated to those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007. This recording is by the Harvard University Choir in the premiere performance of my work at the special Memorial Church service in April 2007.
Corrupting early music; this palestremix was executed by Wayne Marshall after my original concept and heckling during the remix process
Playing computer games; I am a special fan of escaping into alternate universes such as Azeroth. Level 60's impede research; level 70's even more. Someone commented on one of my characters here.
Cooking, gardening, and eating the fruits and vegetables of my
When I was young, I
noticed an interesting anagram I will leave as a puzzle.
Heinrich Christensen noticed it without prompting;
Noam Elkies, upon meeting my parents, asked them if they
had intentionally given me a name with this property.
(I don't know whether he'd noticed it before then.)
After reading this, Florin Constantin observed that “short cipher” is an anagram for Chris Thorpe, but the one I'm talking about is even more self-referential than a topic relating to my research.
Shiyang Cao, Paul Syverson, Elias Ladopoulos, Will Yuen, Tianyi Zhu, Thomer Gil, Kent Kemeny and Russ Ross also figured it out.
The first six letters of my first name, or my short first
name and last initial make for unfortunate abbreviations:
When I was at Microsoft, they nearly gave me the email
(I got t-cthorp).
When I joined LinkedIn,
my contacts were invited to accept my invitation,
decide later, or say "I don't know Christ...".
Zak Stone provided a screenshot.
I speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Dutch
well enough to have meaningful conversations, which means I can also
understand and usually fake Italian.
I also studied some Russian and Japanese and know enough Mandarin to
surprise people. And I know how to say "rain" in Malayalam.