UCLA Computer Scientist Named 2024 American Mathematical Society Fellow

Amit Sahai

UCLA Samueli

Dec 5, 2023

UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Amit Sahai, a professor of computer science at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has been elected a 2024 fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). 

Sahai holds the Symantec Term Chair in Computer Science and is the vice chair of academic advancement in the Computer Science Department. His research interests include secure program obfuscation, cryptographic proofs and secure multiparty computation — all foundational elements of computer security and cryptography. Sahai is one of 40 AMS fellows selected this year, alongside UCLA mathematics professor Monica Visan, for their contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and utilization of mathematics.

Among his numerous accolades, Sahai earned the 2022 Michael and Sheila Held Prize from the National Academy of Sciences and was named a 2021 Simons Investigator. He is also a fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR) and the Association for Computing Machinery. Most recently, Sahai was awarded his second IACR Test of Time Award for authoring a paper with lasting impact in the field of cryptography 15 years after its publication. In recognition of Sahai’s efforts as a decorated teacher and researcher, UCLA Samueli awarded him with the Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016. 

Sahai is considered an expert in his field and has been featured in many major media outlets, including Forbes and the BBC. In 2020, Quanta Magazine depicted his team’s work in solving a 20-year-old problem of indistinguishability obfuscation as achieving the “crown jewel of cryptography.” He also appeared on WIRED’s “5 LEVELS” video series, explaining the concept of zero-knowledge proofs in five layers of complexity. The interview has garnered nearly 7 million views since its debut last year.

AMS created its fellowship program in 2013, with 30 UCLA professors named in the inaugural class. Sahai stands out among UCLA’s now 47 AMS fellows as the only researcher with a primary appointment in engineering. Other professors with UCLA Samueli ties that hold this honor include Andrea Bertozzi — a distinguished professor of mathematics who holds UCLA’s Betsy Wood Knapp Chair for Innovation and Creativity, and a joint appointment in mechanical and aerospace engineering — and Stanley Osher, a distinguished professor in mathematics with appointments in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and chemical and biomolecular engineering. 


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