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Prof. Alon Rosen has won a prestigious EU grant

This is the second time that Prof. Rosen has won a prestigious EU grant.

27 April
2021

Efi Arazi School of Computer Science

Research Authority

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Prof. Alon Rosen, a lecturer and researcher at the Efi Arazi School of Computer Science at IDC Herzliya, has received an ERC Advanced Grant – the most prestigious grant offered by the European Union – which supports the work of outstanding researchers. The amount of the grant is about 2.5 million euros for five years.

 

Prof. Rosen is the only Israeli recipient in the field of exact sciences in the ERC Advanced track for the year 2020. This is the second time that Rosen has received an ERC research grant from the EU – in 2012, he received a grant through the young researchers' track in the framework of the FP7 program.

 

Prof. Rosen's research focuses on cryptography, a field that deals with encryption, digital signatures and, more generally, secure communications.

 

Most of modern cryptography is based on computational problems that are considered difficult to solve. Hard problems that are suitable for cryptographic use are rare, and despite more than four decades of research, only a handful of them have been discovered.

 

The “Fine-Grained Cryptography” project led by Prof. Rosen intends to develop a new approach to discovering “difficult enough” problems, by relying on an alternative, more relaxed, definition of computational difficulty. This will open the door to new computational problems that are suitable as a basis for cryptography. The results of the proposed study are expected to have far-reaching implications, ranging from theoretical computer science to practical applications.

 

Prof. Alon Rosen holds a Ph.D. From the Weizmann Institute of Science. He spent two years working as a postdoctoral researcher in the computer science and artificial intelligence labs at MIT and another two years as a researcher in the Department of Computer Science at Harvard University. Prof. Rosen joined IDC’s Efi Arazi School of Computer Science in 2007; His main fields of interest are cryptography and computational complexity.

 

The ERC (European Research Council) is part of the EU's “Horizon 2020” program, which operated from 2014-2020 and awarded 80 billion euros in research grants to outstanding and groundbreaking researchers.

 

Within the ERC itself, there are three tracks, according to the researchers’ level of seniority. The grant track for experienced researchers, the winners of which have just been announced, is called the Advanced Grant, and the rate of success in receiving it is particularly competitive: this year (the last year of the Horizon 2020 program) more than 2,600 proposals were submitted worldwide, and only 209 (8%) were approved, 5 of which were from Israel. To date, IDC researchers have won ERC grants in the tracks for both young and experienced researchers in the fields of psychology and computer science.

 

Within the ERC itself, there are three tracks, according to the researchers’ level of seniority. The grant track for experienced researchers, the winners of which have just been announced, is called the Advanced Grant, and the rate of success in receiving it is particularly competitive: this year (the last year of the program) more than 2,600 proposals were submitted worldwide and only 209 (8%) were approved, 5 of which were from Israel. To date, IDC researchers have won ERC grants in the tracks for both young and experienced researchers in the fields of psychology and computer science.