Shafi Goldwasser

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Shafi Goldwasser
Shafi Goldwasser.JPG
Born Shafrira Goldwasser
1958 (age 58–59)
New York City, NY, US
Nationality Israeli American
Alma mater
Known for
Scientific career
Fields Computer science, cryptography
Thesis Probabilistic Encryption: Theory and Applications (1984)
Doctoral advisor Manuel Blum[3]
Doctoral students

Shafrira Goldwasser (Hebrew: שפרירה גולדווסר‎‎; born 1958) is an American-Israeli computer scientist. She is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and a professor of mathematical sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.[4][5][6][7]


Born 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.[8] Goldwasser was a co-recipient of the 2012 Turing Award.[9]

Scientific career[edit]

Goldwasser's research areas include computational complexity theory, cryptography and computational number theory. 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.


Goldwasser has twice won the Gödel Prize in theoretical computer science: first in 1993 (for "The knowledge complexity of interactive proof systems"),[10] and again in 2001 (for "Interactive Proofs and the Hardness of Approximating Cliques").[11] Other awards include the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award (1996) for outstanding young computer professional of the year and the RSA Award in Mathematics (1998) for outstanding mathematical contributions to cryptography. In 2001 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2004 she was elected to the National Academy of Science, and in 2005 to the National Academy of Engineering. She was selected as an IACR Fellow in 2007. Goldwasser received the 2008-2009 Athena Lecturer Award of the Association for Computing Machinery's Committee on Women in Computing.[12] She is the recipient of The Franklin Institute's 2010 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science.[13] She received the IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award in 2011, and was awarded the 2012 Turing Award along with Silvio Micali for their work in the field of cryptography.[14]


  1. ^ Goldwasser, S.; Micali, S.; Rivest, R. L. (1988). "A Digital Signature Scheme Secure Against Adaptive Chosen-Message Attacks". SIAM Journal on Computing. 17 (2): 281. doi:10.1137/0217017. 
  2. ^ Savage, N. (2013). "Proofs probable: Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali laid the foundations for modern cryptography, with contributions including interactive and zero-knowledge proofs". Communications of the ACM. 56 (6): 22. doi:10.1145/2461256.2461265. 
  3. ^ a b Shafi Goldwasser at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ Exponent: Shafi Goldwasser Archived September 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Shafi Goldwasser author profile page at the ACM Digital Library
  6. ^ Shafi Goldwasser's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Goldwasser, S.; Micali, S. (1984). "Probabilistic encryption". Journal of Computer and System Sciences. 28 (2): 270. doi:10.1016/0022-0000(84)90070-9. 
  8. ^ "Shafi Goldwasser Biography". 
  9. ^ AbAbazorius, CSAIL (13 March 2013). "Goldwasser and Micali win Turing Award". MIT News. 
  10. ^ Goldwasser, S.; Micali, S.; Rackoff, C. (1985). "The knowledge complexity of interactive proof-systems". Proceedings of the seventeenth annual ACM symposium on Theory of computing - STOC '85. p. 291. ISBN 0897911512. doi:10.1145/22145.22178. 
  11. ^ Feige, U.; Goldwasser, S.; Lovász, L.; Safra, S.; Szegedy, M. (1996). "Interactive proofs and the hardness of approximating cliques". Journal of the ACM. 43 (2): 268–292. doi:10.1145/226643.226652. 
  12. ^ "Home". 
  13. ^ News Office (21 October 2009). "Goldwasser, Stubbe named Franklin Institute laureates". MIT News. 
  14. ^ "Goldwasser, Micali Receive ACM Turing Award for Advances in Cryptography". ACM. Retrieved 13 March 2013.