Building at ZK Week — Nova Track

Building at ZK Week — Nova Track

Track organizers: Nalin (tg: @nibnalin), Justin Drake, Barry Whitehat

In recent months, there has been a surge in interest in Nova — a cutting-edge zkSNARK recursion technique with exceptional security properties and state-of-the-art performance.

On the research side, Sangria, Origami and Lookup Origami (extensions of Nova) were published in just the last month.

On the application side, we’ve had an explosion in the number of teams exploring using Nova, including a ZKML application proving billion+ constraints, a beginner friendly compiler, and even a serious exploration to build a zkVM from EF PSE.

As such, we’d like to dedicate a workshop/hackathon track to exploring Nova at the Zuzalu ZK Week:

Talks

We aim to structure the Nova Track talks for the week in a way that allows for someone with no background in Nova to uplevel their understanding to the latest in research ideas.

Meet and Greet Preview

  • Many of us will be around to talk about resources and the planned programming for the rest of the week
  • April 16, Sunday, 8 - 9:30PM, Dome

Intro to Folding Scheme Math Building Blocks

  • Nova’s [KST21] folding scheme is a lightweight protocol for recursive proof composition. This session lays the mathematical groundwork for understanding the components of a folding scheme, and introduces the contexts in which it is useful. We will cover primitives such as vector commitment schemes, random linear combinations, the Fiat-Shamir transform, as well as incrementally verifiable computation and zk-SNARKs on a high level.
  • Speaker/Owner: Ying Tong
  • April 17, Monday, 5PM - 6:30PM, Dome

Intro to Nova

  • This workshop will introduce Nova, a simple yet powerful recursive SNARK proof system. We'll start by highlighting the amazing properties Nova enjoys for incrementally verifiable computation (IVC). We'll then introduce the main Nova building block called a "folding scheme", explain the details of how Nova works for R1CS, and tease some of the generalisations of Nova including SuperNova and HyperNova.
  • Speaker/Owner: Justin Drake
  • April 18, Tuesday, 6:30PM - 8PM, Dome

Nova Dinner

  • Open-dinner for folks interested in Nova, casual discussion 🙂 Dinner tab covered by Zuzalu/0xPARC, Limited seating — first come, first serve
  • April 18, Tuesday, 8PM onwards, Kiki’s Restaurant Inside

Wednesday Ad-Hoc Sessions

  • We’ll run two ad-hoc sessions to discuss projects for this week, from 11AM - Noon at the Dome and 1:30PM - 2:30PM at the Dome.
🔬Session 1: Research Hackathon Projects🛠️Session 2: Tooling/Application Hackathon Projects

Advanced Folding Schemes

  • This workshop will provide an in-depth exploration of advanced folding scheme constructions, the building blocks that enable Nova's efficient and simple recursion scheme. We will begin by delving into Sangria, a folding scheme for PLONK. Next, we will discuss Nova's extension to support higher degree gates and lookups. And finally, we will explore speculative alternative ideas for adding in-circuit randomness and how Nova's PLONK-ish framing may point to a reframing of IVC itself.
  • Speaker/Owner: Yan, Aardvark, Lev
  • April 20, Thursday, 6:30PM - 7:30PM, Dome

SuperNova and Parallelising Nova

  • Continuing our deep dive on Nova, this workshop will explore the details of SuperNova and parallelised Nova proving. We will discuss the intricacies of SuperNova and the new paradigm of IVC it introduces (NIVC). Then, we'll dive into an orthogonal idea that further enhances the efficiency of Nova provers in practical settings: parallelization of Nova and SuperNova proving! Additionally, we will share some insights, benchmarks, and challenges observed in concrete experiments with a parallelised Nova implementation as part of a recent Nova zkVM effort.
  • Speaker/Owner: Carlos, ???
  • April 21, Friday, 6:30PM - 7:30PM, Ballroom

Research and Future Exploration Discussion

  • Roundtable discussion on ideas and explorations for the weekend hackathon and future
  • Speaker/Owner: Barry, Nalin
  • April 21, Friday, 7:30PM - 8:30PM, Ballroom

Hackathon Track: Nova

We aim for this hackathon track during the weekend (April 22-23) to be a schelling point to get more people building tooling and cool applications for Nova and zkSNARK recursion in general!

Here are some proposed project ideas and point of contacts for projects to talk to:

Nova/IVC REPL: https://zuzalu.notion.site/Nova-IVC-REPL-d2aa586933144bc694df27ff3b40dbe6