Turing Award-winning computer scientist Shafi Goldwasser will become the new director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California, Berkeley, on January 1, 2018.
The Simons Institute is the world's leading venue for collaborative research in theoretical computer science. Established on July 1, 2012, with a grant of $60 million from the Simons Foundation, the institute is housed in Calvin Lab, where leading researchers in theoretical computer science and related fields, as well as the next generation of young scholars, explore deep unsolved problems about the nature and limits of computation.
Throughout her career, Goldwasser has made foundational contributions to the field of cryptography—for which she (and Silvio Micali) received the 2012 Turing Award—including inventing semantically secure probabilistic encryption, pseudorandom functions, and zero-knowledge proofs. She has also made contributions to computational complexity theory, including the development of interactive proof systems, and the discovery of their connection to the complexity of approximation, for which she received the Gödel Prize in 1993 and 2001.
"Algorithms govern our computing-based world in the same way that the laws of nature govern the physical one," Goldwasser said. "Their mathematical underpinnings are thus as important to modern society as the periodic table, relativity or the genome. The Simons Institute at Berkeley, under my leadership, will continue its dedication to the discovery of the fundamentals of computation and to findings that enable technological progress and positive social change."
Goldwasser will also join the Berkeley faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Goldwasser comes to Berkeley from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she has been a faculty member since 1983. In 1997, she became the first holder of the RSA Professorship (named after the inventors of the first public-key cryptosystem, Rivest, Shamir and Adleman). Concurrently with her professorship at MIT, she has been a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science since 1993. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and the National Academy of Engineering in 2005. Her awards include the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1996), the RSA Award In Mathematics (1998), the ACM Athena Lecturer Award (2009), the Benjamin Franklin Award in Computer and Cognitive Science (2010) and the IEEE Emanuel Piore Award (2011).
From Berkeley News
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