The Simons Foundation has announced that Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a principal investigator at CSAIL, has been named a Simons Investigator. Goldwasser is one of three MIT professors selected for the honor.
Simons Investigators receive $100,000 annually to support their research. The support is for an initial period of five years, with the possibility of renewal for an additional five years. The goal of the program is to provide a stable base of support for outstanding scientists in their most productive years, enabling them to undertake long-term study of fundamental questions.
Goldwasser has had tremendous impact on the development of cryptography and complexity theory. She has created rigorous definitions and constructions of well-known primitives such as encryption schemes (both public- and private-key versions) and digital signatures, as well as brand-new ones that she invented: zero-knowledge interactive proof systems. Goldwasser suggested efficient probabilistic primality testers as a means of recognizing (and generating) prime numbers, addressing an algorithmic problem of great significance; these output short proofs of primality, based on the theory of elliptic curves. Continuing her work on interactive proofs, she suggested the notion of two-prover systems, which have turned out to be important in complexity theory. In recent work, Goldwasser has adapted ideas from interactive proofs to show how a client can delegate computation to a not-so-trusted server and verify that the computation of the server is correct. She showed that this technique is applicable to a rich class of computational problems.
Goldwasser is a co-leader of the cryptography and information security group and a member of the complexity theory group within the Theory of Computation Group at CSAIL.
For more information on Goldwasser’s work, please visit: http://www.csail.mit.edu/user/733.