Raluca standing in front of computer graphics

Research Expertise and Interest

computer security, applied cryptography

Research Description

Raluca Ada Popa is a Robert E. and Beverly A. Brooks associate professor at UC Berkeley. She is interested in security, systems, and applied cryptography. She co-founded the RISELab and Skylab, whose aim is to build systems that are secure and intelligent.  She is also a co-founder of PreVeil and Opaque, two security startups based on her research.  

Before joining UC Berkeley, she did a one-year postdoc at ETH Zürich in the System Security group led by Prof. Srdjan Capkun. Before that, she completed her Ph.D. in computer science at MIT, her thesis being about building practical systems that compute on encrypted data.  she earned her Masters of Engineering in Computer Science in 2010 and two Bachelors in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2009 from MIT. 

In the News

UC Berkeley Launches Sky Computing Lab to Revolutionize the Cloud Industry

UC Berkeley formally launched this week The Sky Computing Lab aimed at establishing a two-sided market mediated by services that identify and harness for users the best combination of compatible clouds for their needs and building a new backbone for interconnected cloud computing, a milestone that would revolutionize the industry.

Sharing Sensitive Data without Showing it

Raluca Ada Popa, assistant professor of computer science, designs computer systems to protect confidentiality by computing over encrypted data, while at the same time allowing joint access to the results of data analysis. With the support of the Bakar Fellows program her lab plans to build and test a new encryption system.

Seven new Bakar Fellows already are making an impact

Seven University of California, Berkeley, faculty scientists with novel ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit have been named to the 2019-20 cohort of Bakar Fellows, an honor that gives the fellows the money and time to translate their laboratory breakthroughs into technologies ready for the marketplace.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 23, 2019
Jonathan W. Rosen
At 32, assistant electrical engineering and computer science professor Raluca Ada Popa has been named to MIT Technology Review's list of 35 Innovators Under 35, in the Visionaries category. The honor recognizes her innovative solution to one of the key challenges of cybersecurity -- how to make computer systems safe without depending entirely on firewalls. According to the write-up: "Today, her encryption systems work with a range of applications and provide a level of protection that firewalls cannot: even if attackers break in, they have no way to decipher the data. ... Popa says her techniques allow systems to operate as if they've been blindfolded. They're able to compute on data without actually seeing it -- which is opening the cybersecurity field to a host of new applications. A more recent innovation of hers, Helen, can be used by hospitals to share and aggregate patient records without compromising confidentiality. Another of her systems, Opaque, secures hardware systems against potentially compromised software and is now used by such companies as IBM." Professor Popa was also recently named a Bakar Fellow; for more on that, see our story at Berkeley News.
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