About Cynthia Dwork: American computer scientist (1958-) | Biography, Facts, Career, Life
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Cynthia Dwork
American computer scientist

Cynthia Dwork

Cynthia Dwork
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American computer scientist
Is Computer scientist
From United States of America
Field Technology Science
Gender female
Birth 1 January 1958
Age 64 years
Father: Bernard Dwork
The details (from wikipedia)


Cynthia Dwork (born 1958) is an American computer scientist at Harvard University, where she is Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and Affiliated Professor, Harvard Law School.

Early life and education

She is the daughter of American mathematician Bernard Dwork, and sister of historian Debórah Dwork.

Dwork received her B.S.E. from Princeton University in 1979, graduating Cum Laude, and receiving the Charles Ira Young Award for Excellence in Independent Research.

Dwork received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1983. Her advisor was John Hopcroft.


She is known for her research placing privacy-preserving data analysis on a mathematically rigorous foundation, including the co-invention of differential privacy, a strong privacy guarantee frequently permitting highly accurate data analysis (with McSherry, Nissim, and Smith, 2006). Dwork has also made contributions in cryptography and distributed computing, and is a recipient of the Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize for her early work on the foundations of fault-tolerant systems.

Her contributions in cryptography include Nonmalleable Cryptography with Dolev and Naor in 1991, the first lattice-based cryptosystem with Ajtai in 1997, which was also the first public-key cryptosystem for which breaking a random instance is as hard as solving the hardest instance of the underlying mathematical problem ("worst-case/average-case equivalence"). With Noar she also first presented the idea of, and a technique for, combating e-mail spam by requiring a proof of computational effort, also known as proof-of-work - a key technology underlying hashcash and bitcoin.

Awards and recognition

She was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in 2008, as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014, and as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2015. She received the Dijkstra Prize in 2007 for her work on consensus problems together with Nancy Lynch and Larry Stockmeyer. In 2009 she won the PET Award for Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies. 2017 Gödel Prize was awarded to Cynthia Dwork, Frank McSherry, Kobbi Nissim and Adam Smith for their seminal paper that introduced differential privacy.


  •   — this paper received the Dijkstra Prize in 2007.
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