Microsoft’s Cynthia Dwork joins SEAS

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Pathbreaking theoretical computer scientist Cynthia Dwork, who has made seminal contributions in the fields of privacy, cryptography, and distributed computing, will join the faculty of Harvard University. She is currently a distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley.

Dwork will join Harvard in January 2017 as the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). She will also hold the Radcliffe Alumnae Professorship at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Dwork is renowned for placing privacy-preserving data analysis on a mathematically rigorous foundation.  A cornerstone of this work is differential privacy, a strong privacy guarantee and a collection of methods that allow researchers to analyze large data sets containing sensitive personal information — such as medical and mortgage application records — while preserving the privacy of the individuals whose information is contained therein.

“Harvard’s Paulson School and the Radcliffe Institute provide an unparalleled intellectual environment for applying theoretical computer science to questions of pressing societal concern,” Dwork said.