Brown CS News

Brown Professor Anna Lysyanskaya Honored as Top Young Innovator by Technology Review


The Brown University computer science department today announced that Assistant Professor Anna Lysyanskaya has been included in the 2007 Technology Review TR35, an honor given each year to 35 innovators in science and technology under the age of 35 whose inventions and research the magazine finds most exciting. Anna’s extraordinary work in cryptography, identity verification and privacy protection led to her inclusion in this elite group of accomplished young innovators.

As evidenced daily in the media, reports of compromised corporate databases and online invasions of privacy are a frequent occurrence. To battle this problem, Anna has developed ground-breaking methods that allow authentication without identification. These ideas are being incorporated into practical software systems. In particular, her work on anonymous credentials in collaboration with Jan Camenisch (IBM Research) is now incorporated into the Idemix software, which will be available through the Eclipse Open Source Foundation’s Project Higgins.

“I think it is a big honor to be included on this list,” said Anna Lysyanskaya. “My research builds on a lot of fundamental prior work on digital signature schemes and zero-knowledge proofs, which, lucky for me, was done by people who are currently over 35, so I am the only one to be honored now! The main thrust of my research is methods that would allow a user to access a resource without revealing any information other than that she is, in fact, an authorized user.”

“There is still work to be done. I have gotten my Ph.D. students Mira Belenkiy and Melissa Chase involved in this field and they’re contributing exciting new results. Anyone who wants to learn more about this topic should take my ‘Advanced Topics in Cryptography’ course next Spring,” concluded Lysyanskaya.

“Loss of confidence in online privacy and security poses a growing threat to internet commerce and information exchange,” said department chair Roberto Tamassia. “Anna’s creative approach to identity verification helps restore an expectation of privacy to our online lives. The department is thrilled that Anna’s talent and innovation have been recognized by such a prestigious magazine and that more people will learn about her outstanding contributions to the field of internet security.”

Technology Review, the world’s oldest technology magazine (est. 1899), aims to promote the understanding of emerging technologies and to analyze their commercial, social and political impacts.

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