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Silvio Micali

Silvio Micali

Italian-American computer scientist, professor, cryptographer and founder of Algorand.

Silvio Micali is an Italian computer scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and a professor of computer science at MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research focuses on the theory of cryptography and information security. He founded Algorand, a digital currency and transactions platform.

Micali was born on October 13, 1954 in Palermo, Italy. He earned his undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the Sapienza University of Rome in 1978. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982 under the supervision of Manuel Blum.

He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto from 1982-1983. In 1983, he joined the faculty at MIT as an Assistant Professor. In 1991, he became a full Professor. He is now Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT.

Silvio Micali recently published a paper called ALGORAND The Efficient and Democratic Ledger (in the Blockchain News Library) where he lays out a new vision of a decentralized and secure way to manage a shared ledger that provides a solution to the Byzantine General’s problem.

Silvio Micali worked with Shafi Goldwasser during graduate school with the paper Probabilistic Encryption. In this paper they define probabilistic encryption, semantic security, and also computational indistinguishability, the notion that objects which look the same to efficient algorithms are the same.

This helped make cryptography a precise science. The mathematical structures they created, including formal notions of privacy, adversaries, pseudorandomness, interactive proofs, zero-knowledge proof, and numerous other basic notions that are often extremely subtle to formulate, set cryptography on rigorous foundations of the highest standards, and opened up whole new areas of research within computer science.

Silvio Micali has received awards and citations for his works in computer science and cryptography. He won the Gödel Prize in 1993 and the RSA prize in 2004. He became a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) in 2007. Micali is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Turing Award in 2012 with Shafi Goldwasser for their work in cryptography. The University of Salerno acknowledged his studies and gave him honoris causa degree in Computer Science in 2015. In 2017, he was elected as an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow.


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Further reading


Avi Wigderson

Silvio Micali - A.M. Turing Award Winner

Dean Takahashi

MIT professor debuts high-speed blockchain payments platform Algorand

Jing Chen and Silvio MIcali


Academic paper

Richard Kastelein

Move over Bitcoin - MIT Cryptographer Silvio Micali and his Public Ledger ALGORAND... The Future of Blockchain? - Blockchain News

Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali

Probabilistic Encryption

Academic paper

Curriculum Vitae - Silvio Micali

Documentaries, videos and podcasts