Turing Award winner Goldwasser to speak Friday on computer privacy

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Turing Award winner Goldwasser to speak about computer privacy at IU Bloomington

Lecture is part of School of Informatics and Computing’s Distinguished Speaker Series


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Shafi Goldwasser, a pioneer in the field of provable security and winner of the Association for Computing Machinery’s A.M. Turing Award -- considered the Nobel Prize of computer science -- will speak Friday, March 14, on the Indiana University Bloomington campus.

Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professor of computer science and applied mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. She will speak at 3 p.m. Friday in Room 102 of Lindley Hall on the topic “The Cryptographic Lens” as part of the IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

Goldwasser’s appearance should appeal to anyone interested in how their private information is made accessible, a topic of heightened interest around the globe, according to IU Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing assistant professor Chung-chieh “Ken” Shan, a researcher who develops machine learning language programs.

As an elder in computer science once said, in computer science a result after 10 years is either classic or incorrect. Goldwasser's work is classic,” Shan said. “Everyone in the world depends on her work, and anyone who cares about how their medical, financial and other private information should be kept secret from governments, corporations and other individuals should come to her talk.”

Goldwasser received the 2012 A.M. Turing Award with Siliva Micali, also of MIT, for work that laid the mathematical foundations that made modern cryptography possible. By formalizing the concept that cryptographic security had to be computational rather than absolute, they created mathematical structures that turned cryptography from an art into a science.

Their work addressed important practical problems such as the protection of data from being viewed or modified, providing a secure means of communications and transactions over the Internet. Goldwasser and Micali produced what is considered one of the most influential papers in computer science, “Probabilistic Encryption,” as graduate students in 1983, by introducing the question “What is a secret?”

Goldwasser is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and has also won the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer professionals. She has twice won the Gödel Prize presented jointly by the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory and the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. She was recognized by the ACM Council on Women in Computing as the Athena Lecturer and received the IEEE Piore Award and the Franklin Institute’s Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive science.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a B.A. degree in mathematics, she received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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