(real name: Iain Stewart)
I worked as a computing lab assistant at Imperial College, London, U.K. from 1991-2011.
I am especially interested in helping to improve Bitcoin's usability from a non-tech-savvy user's perspective. By this I don't just mean GUI improvements and the like - plenty of people far more talented than me are working on that - but changes to the network protocol itself that will help with responsiveness from a merchant's or customer's point of view, while not compromising cryptographic security, decentralization, or the strength of the blockchain.
I have a provisional proposal, which I call adaptive difficulty, which I believe will help with this. Comments and feedback welcome. [EDIT 2012-11-22: Meni Rosenfeld's adaptive difficulty proposal effectively contains and subsumes mine. Please give comments and feedback there.]
You might also be interested in a proof-of-stake-based system which I at least provisionally believe can be made extraordinarily robust! I call it "proof of blockchain fair sharing". (That page is currently just a teaser description, sketching the idea and why it doesn't contradict an "obvious" theorem on >50% attacks; followed by a forum post where I speculate on possible broader approaches to the >50% attack problem.)
I've just begun development of Splash - a fork of Ripple where the built-in currency is mined by proof of work a la Bitcoin, rather than just magicked into RippleLabs's ownership by software fiat at the start. Forum announcement to follow shortly I hope.
Last but, I hope, not least: I offer proof of burn as an alternative to both proof of work and proof of stake (though perhaps closer in spirit to the latter), with many interesting properties and economic consequences, the exploration of which has barely begun.
I can be contacted at iain dot david dot stewart at gmail dot com.
[To H...4 on localbitcoins: I haven't forgotten you said you wanted to see some titbits of research in progress... if you contact me at the above, I can reply with things you may find interesting... (you could of course use a throwaway e-mail address, if you don't want me to know your "real" e-mail address!)]
[To, uh, everyone I suppose: yes, I know the above stuff is now very out of date. And, in fact, my opinions have changed about some of it. I'll try to update it all real soon now. (Famous last words!)]