Episode 16

Remember when we didn’t really understand the power and capability of the internet? Well, say hello to Blockchain! This fascinating new technology has the same potential to change the world. We know you know about blockchain, but probably not like this. Dr. Tal Rabin explains it all in this enchanting interview. Listen in to learn about its mysterious and playful origins, connection to crypto and why now is the precise time for more women to enter the field.

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Featured in This Episode

Dr. Tal Rabin is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Research Advisor of the Algorand Foundation, an organization committed to fulfilling the global promise of blockchain technology. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Israel in 1994, Tal joined IBM Research’s Cryptographic Research Group. She managed the group from 1997 until joining the Foundation in 2019. A Member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Tal won the 2014 Anita Borg Women of Vision Award for Innovation and received the RSA Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics in 2019. In 2018, Forbes recognized Tal as one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Though Tal’s work focuses on cryptography and secure multiparty computation, threshold cryptography, and proactive security, she is also an advocate of women’s entry, representation, and progress in tech. From this advocacy came the Women in Theory Workshop, a biennial conference she initiated and organizes for graduate students in Theory of Computer Science.

Tal joins me today to discuss blockchain technology, its history, and its applications. She explains what makes blockchain so fascinating and describes its relationship with cryptocurrency. She discusses whether blockchain is secure or safe and how bitcoin drove its design. She shares how she entered the world of cryptography and explains what skills a person would need if they wished to enter the blockchain industry. She also highlights why women need to enter tech and underscores the power of diversity in inclusion in the field.

“We are still at the early stages of the utilization of blockchain technology. In the same way when the internet was introduced, we still don’t know where blockchain can go and what its impact can be.” – Dr. Tal Rabin

This Week on the Podcast

  • What we should know about blockchain
  • The difference between cryptocurrency and blockchain technology
  • How blockchain technology drives cryptocurrency
  • A brief history of blockchain technology
  • Tal’s beginnings in cryptography
  • The applications of blockchain technology
  • How the novelty of bitcoin introduced the design of blockchain
  • The mystery and intrigue behind blockchain technology and bitcoin
  • How blockchain technology can potentially change lives and society
  • The difference between “security” and “privacy” and which of the two blockchain guarantees
  • Whether blockchain is secure and private
  • Tal’s work at the Algorand Foundation and her research on blockchain
  • How Tal became involved in the world of computer science and cryptography
  • How anyone can join in on the fun of computer science, cryptography, and blockchain
  • Neural diversity and the impact of diversity and inclusion on tech teams
  • The Women in Theory Workshop and the power of mentorship & networking
  • The most influential role models in Tal’s life as a computer scientist
  • Tal’s recommendations for women who want to enter the world of blockchain

Connect with Dr. Tal Rabin

Algorand Foundation
Algorand Foundation on LinkedIn
Algorand Foundation on Facebook
Algorand Foundation on Twitter
Algorand Foundation on YouTube
Algorand Foundation on Reddit
Algorand Foundation on Discord
Tal Rabin on LinkedIn

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