Amit Sahai

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Amit Sahai
Amit Sahai.JPG
Born Amit Sahai
1974 (age 43–44)
Thousand Oaks City, California
Nationality American
Alma mater
Known for
  • Cryptographic Obfuscation[1]
  • Functional Encryption[2]
  • Results on Zero-Knowledge Proofs
  • Results on Secure Multi-Party Computation
Scientific career
Fields Computer science, cryptography
Institutions Princeton University (2000-2004)
UCLA (2004-)
Thesis Frontiers in Zero Knowledge (2000)
Doctoral advisor Shafi Goldwasser[3]

Amit Sahai (Hindi: अमित सहाय; born 1974) is an American computer scientist. He is a professor of computer science at the UCLA and the director of the Center for Encrypted Functionalities at UCLA.[4]


Amit Sahai was born in 1974 in Thousand Oaks, California, to parents who had immigrated from India. He received a B.A. in mathematics with a computer science minor from the University of California, Berkeley, summa cum laude, in 1996.[5] At Berkeley, Sahai was named Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate of the Year, North America, and was a member of the three-person team that won first place in the 1996 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.[6]

Sahai received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 2000, and joined the computer science faculty at Princeton University.[5] In 2004 he moved to UCLA, where he currently holds the position of Professor of Computer Science.

Research and Recognition[edit]

Amit Sahai's research interests are in security and cryptography, and theoretical computer science more broadly. He has published more than 100 original technical research papers.[7]

Notable contributions by Sahai include:

  • Obfuscation. Sahai is a co-inventor of the first candidate general-purpose cryptographic obfuscation schemes, with security based on a mathematical conjecture.[8] This development generated much interest in the cryptography community and was called "a watershed moment for cryptography."[1] Earlier, Sahai co-authored a seminal paper formalizing the notion of cryptographic obfuscation and showing that strong forms of this notion are impossible to realize.[9]
  • Functional Encryption. Sahai co-authored papers which introduced attribute-based encryption and functional encryption.[10]
  • Results on Zero-Knowledge Proofs. Sahai co-authored several important results on zero-knowledge proofs, in particular introducing the concept of concurrent zero-knowledge proofs.[11] Sahai also co-authored the paper that introduced the MPC-in-the-head technique for using secure multi-party computation (MPC) protocols for efficient zero-knowledge proofs.[12]
  • Results on Secure Multi-Party Computation. Sahai is a co-author on many important results on MPC, including the first universally composably secure MPC protocol,[13] the first such protocol that avoided the need for trusted set-ups (using "Angel-aided simulation")[14] and the IPS compiler for building efficient MPC protocols.[15] He is also a co-editor of a book on the topic.[16]

Sahai has given a number of invited talks including the 2004 Distinguished Cryptographer Lecture Series at NTT Labs, Japan. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow in 2002, received an Okawa Research Grant Award in 2007, a Xerox Foundation Faculty Award in 2010, and a Google Faculty Research Award in 2010. His research has been covered by several news agencies including the BBC World Service.[17]


  1. ^ a b Klarreich, Erica (2014-02-03). "Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable". Quanta Magazine.
  2. ^ "Number keys promise safer data". BBC News.
  3. ^ Amit Sahai at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ "Center for Encrypted Functionalities".
  5. ^ a b "EQuad News, Princeton University, Fall 2000, Volume 13, No. 1".
  6. ^ "History - ICPC 1996".
  7. ^ Amit Sahai at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  8. ^ Sanjam Garg; Craig Gentry; Shai Halevi; Mariana Raykova; Amit Sahai; Brent Waters (2013). "Candidate Indistinguishability Obfuscation and Functional Encryption for all Circuits". Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), 2013 IEEE 54th Annual Symposium on. IEEE: 40–49. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/FOCS.2013.13.
  9. ^ "On the (im)possibility of obfuscating programs". Journal of the ACM. 59 (2). April 2012. doi:10.1145/2160158.2160159.
  10. ^ Dan Boneh; Amit Sahai; Brent Waters (2011). "Functional encryption: Definitions and challenges". Theory of Cryptography. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 6597 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science): 253–273. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-19571-6_16.
  11. ^ Dwork, Cynthia; Naor, Moni; Sahai, Amit (2004). "Concurrent Zero Knowledge". Journal of the ACM. 51 (6): 851–898. doi:10.1145/1039488.1039489.
  12. ^ Yuval Ishai; Eyal Kushilevitz; Rafail Ostrovsky; Amit Sahai (2009). "Zero-Knowledge Proofs from Secure Multiparty Computation". SIAM J. Comput. 39 (3): 1121–1152. doi:10.1137/080725398.
  13. ^ Ran Canetti; Yehuda Lindell; Rafail Ostrovsky; Amit Sahai (2002). "Universally composable two-party and multi-party secure computation". Proceedings on 34th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, May 19–21, 2002, Montréal, Québec, Canada: 494–503. doi:10.1145/509907.509980.
  14. ^ Manoj Prabhakaran; Amit Sahai (2004). "New notions of security: achieving universal composability without trusted setup". Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, Chicago, IL, USA: 242–251. doi:10.1145/1007352.1007394.
  15. ^ Yuval Ishai; Manoj Prabhakaran; Amit Sahai (2008). "Founding Cryptography on Oblivious Transfer - Efficiently". Advances in Cryptology - CRYPTO 2008, 28th Annual International Cryptology Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, USA: 572–591. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-85174-5_32.
  16. ^ Prabhakaran, Manoj; Sahai, Amit, eds. (2013). Secure Multi-Party Computation. IOS Press. ISBN 978-1-61499-168-7.
  17. ^ "Profile at Simons Institute".