Shafi Goldwasser

Digital Library

ACM Fellows

Israel - 2017


For transformative work that laid the complexity-theoretic foundations for the science of cryptography

Press Release

ACM A. M. Turing Award

USA - 2012



Along with Silvio Micali, for transformative work that laid the complexity-theoretic foundations for the science of cryptography, and in the process pioneered new methods for efficient verification of mathematical proofs in complexity theory.

Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali laid the foundations of modern theoretical cryptography, taking it from a field of heuristics and hopes to a mathematical science with careful definitions and security models, precise specifications of adversarial capabilities, and rigorous reductions from formally defined computational problems. Their results, jointly and with others, established the now-standard definitions of security for the fundamental primitives of encryption and digital signatures, and provided exemplary implementations meeting the stated security objectives. Even more importantly, their work helped to establish the tone and character of modern cryptographic research. Jointly and in collaboration with others, they provided stunning innovations in the form of random functions, interactive proofs, and zero-knowledge protocols, with implications beyond cryptography to theoretical computer science in general.

ACM Athena Lecturer Award

USA - 2008


Dr. Goldwasser's Athena Lecture took place at the ACM Symposium on the Theory of Computing, sponsored by SIGACT, in May 2009.

ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award

USA - 1996


For her early work relating computation, randomness, knowledge committee and proofs, which has shaped the foundations of probabilistic computation theory, computational number theory, and cryptography. This work is a continuing influence in design and certification of secure communications protocols, with practical applications to development of secure networks and computer systems.

The Grace Murray Hopper Award for 1996 is awarded to Dr. Shafrira Goldwasser for her early work relating computation, randomness, knowledge and proofs, which has played a major role in shaping the foundations of probabilistic computation theory, and applications to computational number theory and theoretical cryptography.

Dr. Goldwasser's early work, with a variety of collaborators, is a sequence of remarkable results in the area of probabilistic computation theory. Among the significant contributions are: the notion of zero-knowledge proofs, the notion of interactive proofs, provably secure protocols, and fast probabilistic primality-checking algorithms. These early results, achieved before Dr. Goldwasser turned 30, are broadly acknowledged as forming the roots that have led to a large and important body of work by Dr. Goldwasser and many others in the areas of cryptography, combinatorial approximation algorithms, secure and fault-tolerant multiparty computations, computational complexity, and number theory. In addition to the impact of her work on the foundations of Computer Science, this work, particularly the notion of zero-knowledge interactive proof, has important practical applications to the soundness of computer and network security by showing how to design and demonstrate the correctness of secure communications protocols. Dr. Goldwasser is now recognized world-wide as a leader in "theory" and "cryptography" research. Along with Dr. Silvio Micali and Dr. Charles Rackoff, she shared the first Gödel prize for the single best theoretical Computer Science paper in a five-year period.