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Milner Lecture 2015: Privacy in the Land of Plenty by Dr. Cynthia Dwork

When Sep 10, 2015
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Informatics Forum G.07
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Speaker: Dr Cynthia Dwork, Distinguished Scientist, Microsoft Research

Title: Privacy in the Land of Plenty

Abstract: Privacy-preserving data analysis has a large literature that spans several disciplines. Many early attempts have proved problematic either in practice or on paper. A new approach, "differential privacy" – a notion tailored to situations in which data are plentiful – has provided a theoretically sound and powerful framework, and given rise to an explosion of research. We will review the definition of differential privacy, describe some recent algorithmic contributions, and conclude with a surprising application.


There will be an informal reception with refreshments following the lecture





Dr. Cynthia Dwork

Cynthia Dwork is a Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley. 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. 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 Non-Malleable Cryptography, the first lattice-based cryptosystem, 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"), and a technique for combating e-mail spam by requiring a proof of computational effort, also known as Proof-of-work. This is the technology underlying hashcash and bitcoin.
She was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008, as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, and as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.

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