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Andrew D. Ker, graduate study

Lots of people want to study for a PhD at Oxford (we call it a DPhil), and many are interested in information hiding topics: steganography, watermarking, media forensics, and the like. I will only be able to take you on if a) your research interests are well-aligned with mine, and b) you have appropriate background knowledge and, like all doctoral students at Oxford, are a student with high talent or potential. And, even then, you might not be able to get a place here, as competition is very tight.

The right topics could include:

  • theoretical aspects of steganography,
  • theoretical or practical aspects of steganalysis and media forensics, or
  • mathematical theory behind information hiding ("the square root law" or game theory).

I would not be willing to supervise research in digital watermarking or practical techniques for steganography in an esoteric domain, unless you can explain why it is a theoretically-interesting problem.

You may have the right background knowledge and potential if you read some of my later papers and are not frightened by the mathematics: some mathematical background is essential for this field.

If you think you meet the above criteria and want to take it further, please email me suggesting some potential areas of study. I will probably ask you some questions and may set a little technical skills test: I am more likely to be positive if you show that you have understood the basics of some of my research. The next step is to complete a formal application (see here). It is possible to complete the application without contacting me first, but you would be unlikely to be successful in that case.

It is difficult to find funding -- University and college fees, as well as living costs -- for doctorates. I do not currently have funding for DPhil projects at this time, but the University administers a number of scholarship funds which you might be able to apply for. See here for more information. You would need to provide proof of funding before you can begin study.