The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Shafi Goldwasser and Silvio Micali of MIT as the recipients of the 2012 ACM A.M. Turing Award (h/t ITworld). The award comes with a $250,000 prize funded by Intel and Google.

"Working together, they pioneered the field of provable security, which laid the mathematical foundations that made modern cryptography possible," the ACM said in a statement. "By formalizing the concept that cryptographic security had to be computational rather than absolute, they created mathematical structures that turned cryptography from an art into a science."

"The work of Goldwasser and Micali has expanded the cryptography field beyond confidentiality concerns," Limor Fix, Director of the University Collaborative Research Group at Intel Labs, said in a statement. "Their innovations also led to techniques for message integrity checking and sender/receiver identity authentication as well as digital signatures used for software distribution, financial transactions, and other cases where it is important to detect forgery or tampering. They have added immeasurably to our ability to conduct communication and commerce over the Internet."


Goldwasser is the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, Principal Investigator at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), and Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science. She holds a BA in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University, and MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Micali is the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT and a Principal Investigator at CSAIL. He's a graduate of Sapienza, University of Rome with a degree in mathematics, and holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.

The 2012 A.M. Turing Award will be presented at the ACM's annual Awards Banquet in San Francisco on June 15.