Posted by: jonkatz | June 6, 2011

Science and cryptography

Tal Rabin has been in the news quite a bit recently: she was on two panels at the World Science Festival (on Women in Science and Keeping Secrets: Cryptography in a Connected World, also featuring Orr Dunkelman). Related to the first panel, she was also interviewed for the New York Times.

The interview was with four female scientists; besides Tal, there were a physicist, a geneticist, and a neuroscientist. The interview was fairly short, but one thing caught my attention: When asked whether they would encourage their children (actually, “daughters”, but gender didn’t really come up in the answers) to be scientists, everyone except Tal answered “no”, saying that the life of a scientist was too grueling. Notwithstanding the fact that anyone who knows Tal knows that she answered “definitely”, I think this points to the fortuitous life those of us working in computer science (specifically computer security) happen to enjoy at this moment. Compared to other fields of science, it is relatively easy to get a job in our field, we work fewer hours with less stress, and get paid more. Makes one wonder how much longer it can last. =)



  1. Talking about job market, does anyone know if MIT hired another person to substitute Madhu Sudan (now at MIcrosoft)?

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