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Shafi Goldwasser

(1958 - )

Shafi Goldwasser is an Israeli-American professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Born Shafrira Goldwasser in New York City, Goldwasser earned her Bachelor’s in Science in mathematics and science at Carnegie Mellon University in 1979, and a Masters in Science in 1981 and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

In 1983, Goldwasser became professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in 1997 became the first professor to hold the RSA Professorship.

In 1993, Goldwasser became professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Goldwasser studies computational complexity theory, cryptography, and computational number theory. She co-invented zero-knowledge proofs.

Among the prestigious prizes she has won are twice the Godel Prize in computational computer science; the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award; RSA Award in Mathematics; Franklin Institute’s Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science.

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; National Academy of Science; and the National Academy of engineering. In 2008, Goldwasser received the Athena Lecturer Award of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Committee on Women in Computing.

In 2012 she won the Turing Award with Silvio Micali for their work in the field of cryptography. The $250,000 prize is funded by Intel and Google, Inc, and named in memory of Alan Turing, the British father of computer science and artificial intelligence; a mathematician who was a well-known and revolutionary code-breaker during World War II.  Goldwasser was the third member of the Weizmann Institute to receive this award, the fifth Israeli, and the third woman.

Sources: Wikipedia; Jerusalem Post (March 15, 2013)