Rebecca Wright headshot

Rebecca Wright

Druckenmiller Professor and Chair of Computer Science, Director of the Vagelos Computational Science Center


Computational Science Center, Computer Science


Milstein 502C



Dr. Rebecca Wright is the Druckenmiller Professor and Chair of Computer Science and Director of the Vagelos Computational Science Center at Barnard College. Her research is in the area of privacy and security, as well as computer science education. Dr. Wright serves as an editor of the International Journal of Information and Computer Security and of the Transactions on Data Privacy, and is a member of the board of the Computing Research Association's Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University, a B.A. from Columbia University, and an honorary M.E. from Stevens Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the IEEE and a Distinguished Member of the ACM.



  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Yale University 
  • A.B. in Computer Science and Mathematics (Double Major), Columbia University 

National Science Foundation, RCN DIMACS/Simons Collaboration on Lower Bounds in Complexity Theory, October 2018–September 2021.

National Science Foundation, RCN: DIMACS/Simons Collaboration in Bridging Continuous and Discrete Optimization, September 2017–August 2020.

European Commission, Accelerating EU-US DialoGue for Research and Innovation in CyberSecurity and Privacy (AEGIS), May 2017–April 2019.

Mathematics and Physical Sciences Scientific Advisory Board, Simons Foundation, 2018– present.

Advisory Board, CISPA-Stanford Center for Cybersecurity, 2017–present.

Privacy and Technology Advisory Board, Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), 2014–present.

Board, Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research of the Computing Research Association (CRA-W), 2012–present.

Scholar Selection Director, SWSIS Scholarships for Women Studying Information Security, a joint project of the Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) and Applied Computer Security Associates (ACSA), 2014–present.

Advisory Committee, Computer Research Association Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP), 2012–present. 

Improving State Voter Registration Databases: Final Report, Committee on State Voter Registration Databases, National Research Council, The National Academies Press, 2010.

State Voter Registration Databases: Immediate Actions and Future Improvements, Interim Report, Committee on State Voter Registration Databases, National Research Council, The National Academies Press, 2008.

Statewide Databases of Registered Voters: Study Of Accuracy, Privacy, Usability, Security, and Reliability Issues, commissioned by the U.S. Public Policy Committee of the Association for Computing Machinery, 2006.

"Privacy in a Networked World," Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2007 Symposium, The National Academies Press, 2008.

"Finite-State Approximation of Phrase-Structure Grammars," (with F. Pereira), in Finite-State Language Processing, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1997. Emmanuel Roche and Yves Schabes, editors.

"An Application of Game-Theoretic Techniques to Cryptography," (with M. Fischer), in Advances in Computational Complexity Theory, DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, Volume 13, American Mathematical Society, (1993), pp. 99-118. Jin-Yi Cai, editor.

Computer and communications security, particularly in the areas of privacy, cryptographic protocols, and fault-tolerant distributed computing. Designing protocols, systems, and services that perform their specified computational or communication functions even if some of the participants or underlying components behave maliciously.

  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Fellow, for Contributions to Applied Cryptography and Privacy, 2018.
  • Association of Computing Machinery, Distinguished Member , for Scientific Contributions to Computing, 2017.
  • National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong Endowment for Young Engineers – Gilbreth Lectureship, 2008

Hasso Plattner Institute Cybersecurity Symposium on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence: Driving the Future of Cybersecurity, Protecting Your Digital Identities, Keynote Speaker, New York, NY, September 25–26, 2018.

CRA-W Distinguished Lecture Series, Privacy in Today’s World, New Jersey Women in Computing Celebration, Kean College, Union, NJ, April 4, 2018.

Muhlenberg College Lectures & Forum and Math/CS Colloquium, Privacy in Today’s World, February 9, 2018. 2017

ACM CCS Workshop on Women in Cyber Security, Privacy in Today’s World, Keynote Speaker, Dallas, TX, October 30, 2017.

Federal Privacy Research and Development Interagency Working Group, Differentially Private Anomaly Detection, Invited Briefing, August 1, 2017.

CRA-W Virtual Undergraduate Town Hall Series, Privacy in Today’s World & Getting Involved in CS Extra-curricular Activities, online presentation hosted by Computing Research Association – Women, April 18, 2017. 16

The 15th International Information Security for South Africa Conference, Differential Privacy in Practice, Keynote Speaker, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 17–18, 2016.

R. Wright, J. Stout, G. Cochran, T. Nguyen, and C. Sanchez Gomez, Computer Science Living-Learning Community for Women at Rutgers: Initial Experiences and Outcomes (abstract)Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2018, p. 1075

D. Archer, D. Bogdanov, Y. Lindell, L. Kamm, K. Nielsen, J. Pagter, N. Smart, and R. Wright, From keys to databases - real-world applications of secure multi-party computationThe Computer Journal, Vol. 61, No. 12, 2018, pp. 1749-1771.

D.M. Bittner, A.D. Sarwate, and R. Wright, Differentially private noisy search with applications to anomaly detection (abstract), in Proceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Security (AlSec), 2017, p. 53

E. Hesamifard, H. Takabi, M. Ghasemi, and R. Wright, Privacy-preserving machine learning as a service, in Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, Vol. 3, 2018, pp. 123–142.

In The News

For her new First-Year Seminar Technology & Society, the professor of computer science will help students explore all facets of technology.


July 24, 2020

With this funding, the College will help grow the number of women in computer science.

May 7, 2020