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Dawn Song

Dawn Song is a Chinese-American computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, recognized for her contributions to computer security, artificial intelligence, and technology. [3]

She is the founder and CEO of Oasis Labs, a cloud-computing company using blockchain technology known as the to preserve user privacy.

Career

Education & Early Career

Dr. Song received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1996 from Tsinghua University, followed by a Master's degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998. In 2002, she obtained her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, establishing her proficiency in computer science, security, and artificial intelligence. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Song served as an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and later, she joined the faculty at UC Berkeley. [1][5]

Research Focus

Dr. Song's research explores the interplay between software, hardware, and networks that render computer systems susceptible to attacks. She employs theoretical approaches to comprehend and mitigate security challenges in computer systems and networks. Her research spans various domains, including software security, networking security, database security, distributed systems security, applied cryptography, and the intersection of machine learning and security. [6]

Dr. Song created the BitBlaze platform to analyze malware and create a protective filter autonomously until a security patch becomes accessible. This program examines patches and generates new malware to exploit vulnerabilities, offering guidance to programmers in crafting effective security patches. Following a security attack, BitBlaze can defend against diverse future attacks targeting the same vulnerability. BitBlaze was later integrated into the Google Chrome web browser. [5]

Awards and Recognition

In 2010, she received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her efforts in safeguarding computer systems against malware, particularly for developing a technique to identify potential security breaches by analyzing system activity patterns. [2]

Dr. Song's contributions to security and privacy matters have garnered a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for young faculty, an MIT Technology Review Award recognizing her as one of the world's top young innovators, a Guggenheim fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and the IBM Faculty Award, among numerous other honors. [2]

Oasis Labs

In 2018, Dr. Song co-founded Oasis Labs alongside Bobby Jaros (COO), Noah Johnson (CPO), and Raymond Cheng (CTO). Oasis Labs works to give users back control of their data through privacy and security measures and enhanced processing capabilities. The organization employs hardware and software technologies, facilitating the deployment of cloud-scale, practical applications, including machine learning integrated with technology. [7]

Interviews

Blockchain and Privacy

On September 28, 2022, Dr. Song was interviewed by Jill Malandrino on Nasdaq's "TradeTalks," where she discussed Oasis Labs' innovations in technologies. [9]

"Oasis is a Next Generation blockchain architecture and actually the first one that proposes this modular architecture of separating execution from consensus to enable blockchain to have much greater scalability. Because of the separating of execution from consensus, this layered modular architecture for this new blockchain and architecture that Oasis has, we are also able to provide much stronger privacy capabilities."

She explained how Sapphire, Oasis Labs' newest product at the time, brought a significant innovation to user privacy in blockchain. [9]

"Today, any solidity smart contracts that you can easily move into this Sapphire confidential EVM environment so that the applications get out-of-the-box confidentiality for the contract state and hence users get privacy protection."
"Sapphire, as I mentioned, I think again this is a real game-changer and actually for anyone who is using solitary smart contracts using these applications that's actually as there's no reason there's no downside for using Sapphire, there's only upside to provide stronger security and stronger privacy protection."

Responsible Data Economy

On October 2, 2020, Dr. Song was interviewed by Outlier Ventures. During the interview, she highlighted the importance of giving users control over their data and emphasized the need for privacy protection. She goes on to define what she calls the responsible data economy framework: [8]

"This new framework aims to establish and ensure users' rights to data, allowing them to maintain control over how their data is used. Simultaneously, it facilitates more effective data utilization while adhering to, honoring, and enforcing users' rights. This encapsulates the essence of the responsible data economy."

She later explains the benefits of combining blockchain and machine learning and discusses how the uses both concepts to create a responsible data economy. [8]

"In the Oasis Network and platform, we combine blockchain and secure computing. The blockchain serves as a mutual ledger for users' rights to data and their policies on data utilization. In machine learning, especially with methods like deep learning, there's a significant need for data, and often, this data can be sensitive. With the Oasis platform and the responsible data economy, we aim to help users maintain control over their data. Simultaneously, the data can be utilized in a privacy-preserving manner."

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