Indian-American professor elected Fellow of prestigious cryptology body

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Amit Sahai, professor of computer science in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, was elected as a 2019 fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research.

Computer Science Professor Amit Sahai of UCLA was elected a 2019 Fellow of the International Association of Cryptologic Research. (Photo: UCLA.edu)

The IACR is an international organization with the goal of enhancing the security of computation and communications.

Sahai, who was one of only 6 elected fellows this year, was cited for “fundamental contributions, including to secure computation, zero knowledge, and functional encryption and for service to the IACR” according to the website of the organization.

Every year since 2004, only some 5 to 7 fellows are elected to the body. Going by the list on the IACR website, Sahai is only the second Indian-origin expert in the field to be elected a fellow. The first was Mihir Bellare in 2012, recognized “For his fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of cryptography and for educational leadership in cryptography,” the IACR website says.

Sahai is also the director of the Center for Encrypted Functionalities, a research organization funded by the National Science Foundation.

His research interests are in security and cryptography, and theoretical computer science. He is the co-inventor of attribute-based encryption, functional encryption and indistinguishability obfuscation.

According to his biography on the UCLA website, Sahai received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT in 2000. Following that he taught at Princeton University for four years, before coming to UCLA.

Sahai has published more than 100 original technical research papers and given invited talks at institutions such as MIT, Stanford, and Berkeley, including the 2004 Distinguished Cryptographer Lecture Series at NTT Labs, Japan.

Among the awards he received are – being named an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow in 2002, receiving an Okawa Research Grant Award in 2007, a Xerox Foundation Faculty Award in 2010, a Google Faculty Research Award in 2010, a 2012 Pazy Memorial Award, and a 2016 ACM CCS Test of Time Award. For his teaching, he was awarded the 2016 Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award.

 

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