Shafi Goldwasser

Professor Goldwasser has recommended books in the following areas:

Shafrira “Shafi” Goldwasser is an Israeli-American computer scientist and winner of the Turing Award in 2012. She is the RSA 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 1958 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 US-based 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, and Algorand, a Proof-of-stake 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.[17] Her work in number theory includes the invention with Joe Kilian of primality proving using elliptic curves.


  • 2013, A.M. Turing Award

  • 2012, Simons Foundation Investigator Award

  • 2011, IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award

  • 2010, Franklin Institute Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science

  • 2008, Athena Lecturer, Association for Computing Machinery’s Committee on Women in Computing (ACM-W)

  • 2007, IACR Fellow

  • 2006, Distinguished Alumnus Award in Computer Science and Engineering University of California, Berkeley

  • 2005, Fellow of National Academy of Engineering

  • 2004, Fellow of National Academy of Sciences

  • 2001, Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Science

  • 2001, SIGACT Gödel Prize for “Interactive Proofs and the Hardness of Approximating Cliques”

  • 1999, Weizmann Institute Levenson Prize in Mathematics

  • 1998, RSA Award in Mathematics for Outstanding Mathematical Contributions to Cryptography

  • 1996, ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

  • 1993, SIGACT Gödel Prize for “The Knowledge Complexity of Interactive Proof Systems”

  • 1991-96, NSF Award for Women in Science

  • 1987-92, NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award

  • 1983-85, IBM Young Faculty Development Award