Prof. Cynthia Dwork Awarded IEEE Hamming Medal

March 17, 2020
Cynthia Dwork, a light-skinned woman with curly auburn hair and glasses, sits at a cafe in front of a bank of windows.


Cynthia Dwork, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has been awarded the Richard W. Hamming Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The award recognizes exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems, and technology.

Dwork was chosen for her “foundational work in privacy, cryptography, and distributed computing, and for leadership in developing differential privacy.”

Dwork is a pioneer of 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.

She has published more than 100 refereed journal and conference papers and holds two dozen U.S. and foreign patents for methods and systems designed to ensure the reliability of distributed systems, protect the privacy of communications networks and digital information, improve search systems, and reduce electronic spam.

Dwork is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and is a fellow of the ACM, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

The award will be presented at the 2020 IEEE Vision, Innovation, and Challenges Summit in May.