October 4, 2023

ESORICS 2023 Outstanding Research Award for Ronald Cramer (CWI)

Cryptographer Ronald Cramer (CWI and Leiden University) has been awarded the ESORICS 2023 Outstanding Research Award. Cramer received the award because of his outstanding research contributions to the field of cryptography that have had a lasting impact on the field of computer security, recognized by the entire ESORICS community.

European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS) is a flagship cybersecurity conference. Its aim is to further the progress of research in computer security by establishing a European forum for bringing together researchers in this area, by promoting the exchange of ideas with system developers and by encouraging links with researchers in related areas. Progressively organised in a series of European countries, the symposium is confirmed as the European research event in computer security.

ESORICS has established two annual awards: The ESORICS Outstanding Research Award and the ESORICS Outstanding Contribution Award. Since 2012, with 11 renowned awarders, the Outstanding Research Award is given for outstanding and innovative technical contributions to the field of computer security that have had lasting impact in furthering or understanding the theory or development of secure systems. The 2023 award was presented to Ronald by the Chair of the ESORICS Steering Committee Prof. Sokratis Katsikas.

Ronald Cramer, Head of the Cryptology Research group “I feel honored to receive this award from ESORICS, a wonderful surprise indeed ”

Since 2004, Ronald Cramer has been the head (and founder) of the Cryptology Research group at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, a world-leading group in this field. Since 2004 he is also a full professor at the Mathematical Institute at Leiden University. Prior to that (1997–2004) he held research positions at ETZ Zurich and at Aaarhus University. He is known for his fundamental contributions to cryptography, such as the Cramer-Shoup encryption, which is adopted in an international ISO standard, and for the hash proof systems building on this research. Other examples are his work on cryptographic protocol theory (such as the Sigma protocols), and mathematical aspects of secure multi-party computation – privacy-protecting cooperation between parties that do not trust each other – including arithmetic secret sharing and connections with algebraic geometry and the theory of error correcting codes. In recent years, he also focused on the mathematics of quantum-safe cryptology.

During his career, Ronald Cramer received various honors. For example, in 1998 he received the first Christiaan Huygens Prize from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) for his PhD thesis from 1996. He was awarded the senior career development VICI by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) in 2006. From 2005-2010 he was a member of the inaugural class of the Young Academy of the KNAW. In 2011 he was Invited Speaker at the EUROCRYPT conference. In 2013, Cramer was selected Fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) for his “fundamental contributions to cryptography”. In the same year, he was also elected Member of the KNAW for his “groundbreaking applications of classical mathematics in cryptography”. He served as a Program Chair for EUROCRYPT 2005, PKC 2008 and TCC 2012. Cramer is an author of the textbook Secure Multi-Party Computation and Secret Sharing (Cambridge, 2015). In 2017 he received an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euro for his proposal ‘Algebraic Methods for Stronger Crypto’ for his novel ideas towards groundbreaking research that impacts both science and society at large.

Also in 2017, he was member of a team of 6 PI’s who were awarded an NWO Gravitation Grant (QSC, 18 million euros).

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