2019: Professor Shafi Goldwasser
Mathematician and computer scientist at the same time, Professor Shafi Goldwasser is a pioneer of modern cryptography. For her groundbreaking works she was awarded the A.M. Turing Award, the ”Nobel Prize of Computer Science“, in 2012 (together with Silvio Micali).
Shafi Goldwasser is Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California in Berkeley, USA. The American-Israeli dual citizen also holds professorships at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, MIT, and at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Israel.
The prejudice that abstract mathematics such as algorithmic number theory or complexity theory have no practical use is proved wrong by Shafi Goldwasser’s revolutionary works e.g. on interactive Zero Knowledge Proofs and their applications. In our everyday lives, they make the seemingly impossible possible: secure authentication and payments over the internet without transmission of sensitive data such as passwords or credit card numbers. Already now and even more in a future digitally transformed world, our security depends on complex mathematics and computer science. Hence education in these subjects is of key importance!
In 2017 Professor Goldwasser was invited for a US Congress Briefing on ”Cryptography: How to Enable Privacy in a Data-Driven World“. According to the Laudatio for the A.M. Turing Prize ”Her career includes many landmark papers which have initiated entire subfields of computer science“. Der Tagesspiegel called her ”Queen of Cryptography“ when she was elected into the ”Hall of Fame of the Digital Age“ in Berlin in 2018.
By the invitation of The Albert Einstein Society and the University of Bern, Shafi Goldwasser will give three talks; they address a broad audience and take place in the Aula of the University of Bern, Hochschulstrasse 4: