The Researcher Who Explores Computation by Conjuring New Worlds

Past Member and frequent Visiting Professor Russell Impagliazzo, who has been an important collaborator of Herbert H. Maas Professor in the School of Mathematics Avi Wigderson, was asked about cryptography, computational complexity theory, improvisational comedy, and Dungeons & Dragons in an interview for Quanta Magazine:

"In general, the person posing a problem might not know the answer. A puzzle is a problem designed with an answer in mind. So why do we need a puzzle? Because we need to be able to determine whether a person who supposedly solved it actually did. In everyday life, we use puzzles for amusement, but we also use them in classrooms to test whether people understood the material. This is what happens in cryptography: We’re using puzzles to test someone’s knowledge."

Read more at Quanta