Cryptography is concerned with the construction of schemes that withstand
any abuse. A cryptographic scheme is constructed so as to maintain a desired
functionality, even under malicious attempts aimed at making it deviate from its
prescribed behavior. The design of cryptographic systems must be based on firm
foundations, whereas ad hoc approaches and heuristics are a very dangerous way
to go. These foundations were developed mostly in the 1980s, in works that are all
co-authored by Shafi Goldwasser and/or Silvio Micali. These works have transformed
cryptography from an engineering discipline, lacking sound theoretical foundations,
into a scientific field possessing a well-founded theory, which influences practice as
well as contributes to other areas of theoretical computer science.
This book celebrates these works, which
were the basis for bestowing the 2012 A.M.
Turing Award upon Shafi Goldwasser and
Silvio Micali. A significant portion of this
book reproduces some of these works,
and another portion consists of scientific
perspectives by some of their former
students. The highlight of the book is
provided by a few chapters that allow the
readers to meet Shafi and Silvio in person.
These include interviews with them, their
biographies and their Turing Award lectures.