Online, payment or personal data protection exist mainly thanks to the work of a pioneer of cryptography: Shafi Goldwasser.
Many women have played a central role in the discovery and development of innovations, such as Margaret Hamilton, who made the conquest of space possible, Ada Lovelace, the creator of computer language, Hedy Lamarr, who laid the foundations for Wi -Fi, or Shafi Goldwasser, pioneer of modern cryptography. The latter also became the third female researcher in history to receive the prestigious award AM Turing Award in 2012.
The concept of “mental poker” underlies modern cryptography
Initially interested in writing fiction, Shafi Goldwasser was soon seduced by the language of numbers and mathematics. He therefore embarked on this path at the end of the 70s with the addition of specialization in a completely new sector at the time: IT. This is what will make him internationally famous, especially thanks to his work that will lay the foundations of modern cryptography. For this reason, it started from the concept of “mental poker”, or how to play this game remotely without resorting to a trusted third party who guarantees that it is not possible to cheat. He then developed with Silvio Micali a revolutionary cryptographic system called “public key” which is based on the random encryption of data. Modern cryptography was born.
Impose your ideas in a very masculine scientific and computer world
Subsequently, he evolved his cryptographic system to become “zero-knowledge proof” which enabled the protection, authenticity and confidentiality of digital information, still used today by applications such as online payments or authentication of cryptocurrencies against cyber attacks. While her recognition is worldwide today, she admits that she had to fight to be taken seriously in a very masculine scientific and IT world. In your opinion, ” we must continue to expose these inequalities throughout the scientific community to promote evidence-based change. Achieving gender equality in science will also lead to better outcomes, better teams, and better education for our children for generations to come. “.
Article written in collaboration with Hello Future, Orange’s research and innovation site