Cynthia Dwork

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Cynthia Dwork (born 1958) is an American computer scientist and a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research. She is known for her research placing privacy-preserving data analysis on a mathematically rigorous foundation, including the invention of differential privacy, a strong privacy guarantee frequently permitting highly accurate data analysis (with McSherry, Nissim, and Smith, 2006). Dr. Dwork has also made contributions in cryptography and distributed computing, and is a recipient of the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize for her early work on the foundations of fault-tolerant systems. Her contributions in cryptography include Non-Malleable Cryptography (with Dolev and Naor, 1991), the first lattice-based cryptosystem (with Ajtai, 1997), which was also the first public-key cryptosystem for which breaking a random instance is as hard as solving the hardest instance of the underlying mathematical problem ("worst-case/average-case equivalence"), and the idea of, and a technique for, combating e-mail spam by requiring a proof of computational effort (with Naor, 1992). This is the technology underlying hashcash and bitcoin. Dwork is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

She received the Dijkstra Prize in 2007 for her work on consensus problems together with Nancy Lynch and Larry Stockmeyer.[1][2] She was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2008,[3][4] and as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2008.[5] In 2009 she won the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies.[6]

Dwork received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1983. Her advisor was John Hopcroft.[7][8]

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