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NTT Research Names Dr. Elette Boyle Senior Scientist in CIS Lab

Theoretical cryptographer brings focus on secure multi-party computation and underlying primitives

NTT Research, Inc., a subsidiary of NTT announced that Dr. Elette Boyle has joined the Cryptography & Information Security (CIS) Lab as a senior scientist. Dr. Boyle has most recently been serving as Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Research on Foundations and Applications of Cryptographic Theory (FACT) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel, where she has been on the faculty since 2015. Dr. Boyle received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in mathematics in 2013. Her research has been recognized by a number of awards, including a Google Research Scholar Award in 2021, an Outstanding Researcher Award from IDC in 2019 and a Best Paper award at the International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO) 2016. She was selected as one of 22 recipients across Europe for the prestigious 2019 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant in the area of Computer Science and Informatics.

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Distinguished cryptographer Dr. Elette Boyle joined @NTTResearch Cryptography & Information Security Lab as a senior scientist. There, she’ll work with a team of experts in pursuit of “perfect” security.

“We are very happy to welcome Dr. Boyle,” said CIS Lab Director Tatsuaki Okamoto. “Her impressive record of research and service speaks for itself, and we look forward to benefiting from her contributions to both our team and the field of cryptography at large.”

Dr. Boyle’s research centers on the cryptographic foundations for safely maintaining and processing sensitive data, and her recent focus has been on protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC), as well as underlying primitives such as functional/homomorphic secret sharing. The Google Research Scholar Award supported her work on Cheaper Private Set Intersection via Advances in Silent Oblivious Transfer (OT). The Crypto 2016 Best Paper Award honored “Breaking the Circuit-Size Barrier for Secure Computation Under DDH [Decisional Diffie-Hellman],” a paper on secret sharing using homomorphic encryption. Dr. Boyle has given numerous invited talks and has been a plenary or keynote speaker at Women in Security and Cryptography (WISC) Workshop 2021, CrossFyre 2019, CryptoAction Symposium 2018, Public-Key Cryptography 2018 and Indocrypt 2017. At IDC Herzliya, she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses and has supervised more than a dozen interns, students and post-doctoral fellows. As Director of the FACT Research Center, she has guided since 2018 the efforts of a group of permanent and visiting researchers from across the spectrum of cryptographic theory with the aim of reducing the gap between the theoretical foundations and practical applications of cryptography. Its projects include secure computation and surrounding technologies, fine-grained cryptography, fast and sound cryptography, and verifiable voting.

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“I am excited to be a part of this distinguished team,” said Dr. Boyle. “My work overlaps with that of several CIS Lab members, and the similarities between NTT Research and IDC – both are interdisciplinary, engaged in basic research, yet not indifferent to practical applications – also make this a good fit.”

Before joining IDC, also known as Reichman University, in the Tel Aviv district of Israel, Dr. Boyle held post-doctoral fellowships at Technion – Israeli Institute of Technology and at Cornell University. At MIT, she completed her Ph.D. under the supervision of Professor Shafi Goldwasser. She was a Research Fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing in 2015 and held a U.S. National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship from 2008-2011. In 2008, she was awarded a U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Scholar-Athlete Postgraduate Scholarship. While at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she earned a B.S. in Mathematics, she also earned All-Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) honors in the high jump and was named Caltech’s female scholar-athlete of the year.

In addition to recruiting some of the world’s top computer scientists, the CIS Lab actively explores opportunities to work with other experts in the fields of cryptography and blockchain. It has reached joint research agreements with Stanford, UCLA and Georgetown. In late 2019, it entered an industrial partnership with the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley. CIS Lab Director Okamoto has made extensive contributions to the field of cryptography himself, including service as director of the International Association of Cryptology Research (IACR) and work on public-key encryption, protocols for electronic money and voting, and the zero-knowledge proof.

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