Ep47 Yael Tauman Kalai
In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Bruke Kifle hosts 2022 ACM Prize in Computing recipient Yael Tauman Kalai, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and an Adjunct Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her main research interests are cryptography, the Theory of Computation, and security and privacy. She is especially known for her work in verifiable delegation of computation, where she has developed succinct proofs that certify the correctness of any computation. In addition to making breakthroughs in the mathematical foundations of cryptography, her proofs have been practically useful in areas such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Yael shares her career journey in computer science, which is rooted in a love of mathematics, and how the field of cryptography provided philosophically interesting questions with applicable research outcomes. She describes her work on ring signatures, a key component of numerous blockchain-based systems that added privacy to the chain, which she co-invented with Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir. Yael also touches on AI and large language models (LLMs), different methods of verification, how she values her own work, and how she balances her roles between academia and industry. She also reveals some concerns around quantum computing and what she sees as the most exciting emerging areas of cryptography.