Joan Feigenbaum

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Joan Feigenbaum (born 1958 in Brooklyn, New York) is a theoretical computer scientist with a background in mathematics. She is the Grace Murray Hopper Professor of Computer Science at Yale University.[1] At Yale she also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics. Feigenbaum co-invented the computer-security research area of trust management.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Feigenbaum did her undergraduate work in Mathematics at Harvard University. She became interested in computers during the Summer Research Program at AT&T's Bell Labs between her junior and senior years. She then earned a Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University, under the supervision of Andrew Yao,[3] while working summers at Bell Labs. After graduation she joined Bell Labs. She became the Hopper Professor at Yale in 2008.[1]


She is married to Jeffrey Nussbaum. They have a son, Sam Baum. Baum was chosen as child's surname as the greatest common suffix of Feigenbaum and Nussbaum.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1998 Feigenbaum was an Invited Speaker of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin.[5] In 2001 she became a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for her "foundational and highly influential contributions to cryptographic complexity theory, authorization and trust management, massive-data-stream computation, and algorithmic mechanism design."[6] In 2012 she was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science[7] and, in 2013, a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. The Connecticut Technology Council chose her as a Woman of Innovation in 2012. She acts as one of the three award-committee members on ACM SIGecom test of time award.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Joan Feigenbaum Named the Grace Murray Hopper Professor", Yale News, July 18, 2008
  2. ^ Joan Feigenbaum bio
  3. ^ Joan Feigenbaum at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Notable Women in Mathematics, a Biographical Dictionary, edited by Charlene Morrow and Teri Perl, Greenwood Press, 1998. p 50.
  5. ^ Feigenbaum, Joan (1998). "Games, complexity classes, and approximation algorithms". Doc. Math. (Bielefeld) Extra Vol. ICM Berlin, 1998, vol. III. pp. 429–439.
  6. ^ ACM Fellows: Joan Feigenbaum, Association for Computing Machinery, retrieved 2012-12-29.
  7. ^ "AAAS Members Elected as Fellows", Science, 338: 1168–1171, November 30, 2012, doi:10.1126/science.338.6111.1166
  8. ^ "ACM SIGecom: Test of Time Award".