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November 14, 1959
New York City, NY, US
|Fields||Computer science, cryptography|
|Thesis||Probabilistic Encryption: Theory and Applications (1984)|
|Doctoral advisor||Manuel Blum|
Shafrira Goldwasser (Hebrew: שפרירה גולדווסר; born 1959) is an American-Israeli computer scientist and winner of the Turing Award in 2012. She is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, a professor of mathematical sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, co-founder and chief scientist of Duality Technologies and the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing in Berkeley, CA.
Born in New York City, Goldwasser obtained her B.S. (1979) in mathematics and science from Carnegie Mellon University, and M.S. (1981) and PhD (1984) in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of Manuel Blum, who is well known for advising some of the most prominent researchers in the field. She joined MIT in 1983, and in 1997 became the first holder of the RSA Professorship. She became a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, concurrent to her professorship at MIT, in 1993. She is a member of the Theory of Computation group at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Goldwasser was a co-recipient of the 2012 Turing Award. On January 1, 2018, Goldwasser became the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley.
Since November 2016, Goldwasser is Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Duality Technologies, an Israeli-American start-up which offers secure data analytics using advanced cryptographic techniques. She is also a scientific advisor for several technology start ups in the security area, including QED-it, specializing in the Zero Knowledge Blockchain.
Goldwasser's research areas include computational complexity theory, cryptography and computational number theory. She is the co-inventor of probabilistic encryption, which set up and achieved the gold standard for security for data encryption. She is the co-inventor of zero-knowledge proofs, which probabilistically and interactively demonstrate the validity of an assertion without conveying any additional knowledge, and are a key tool in the design of cryptographic protocols. Her work in complexity theory includes the classification of approximation problems, showing that some problems in NP remain hard even when only an approximate solution is needed, and pioneering methods for delegating computations to untrusted servers. Her work in number theory, includes the invention with Joe Kilian of primality proving using elliptic curves.
Goldwasser was awarded the 2012 Turing Award along with Silvio Micali for their work in the field of cryptography. Goldwasser has twice won the Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science: first in 1993 (for "The knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems"), and again in 2001 (for "Interactive Proofs and the Hardness of Approximating Cliques"). Other awards include the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1996) for outstanding young computer professional of the year and the RSA Award in Mathematics (1998) for outstanding mathematical contributions to cryptography. In 2001 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Science, and in 2005 to the National Academy of Engineering. She was selected as an IACR Fellow in 2007. Goldwasser received the 2008-2009 Athena Lecturer Award of the Association for Computing Machinery's Committee on Women in Computing. She is the recipient of The Franklin Institute's 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science. She received the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award in 2011. She received the 2018 Frontier of Knowledge award together with Micali, Rivest and Shamir. She was elected as an ACM Fellow in 2017.