Until 2000, I was a PhD student at MIT (picture), a member of the Theory of Computation Group in the Laboratory for Computer Science. In spring 98 I obtained here at MIT my Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I have diverse interests circling around cryptography, approximation algorithms, information theory, lower bounds and combinatorics, and worked under the supervision of Madhu Sudan and Silvio Micali.
My paper (with Sanjeev Khanna) on "Space-time Tradeoffs for Graph Properties" won the Best Contributor Award at the 1999 International Colloquium on Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP'99).
Since I joined MIT, I spent my summers doing reserach at several research laboratories. In 99 I had a great summer visiting the Cryptography Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center headed by Tal Rabin. I spent the summers of 97 and 98 at Bell Laboratories, part of Lucent Technologies. I was doing research in the Mathematical Sciences Research Center in the Department of Fundamental Mathematics headed by Peter Winkler. My mentor was Sanjeev Khanna.
I got my Bachelor of Arts Degree from the New York University (picture), where I double majored in Mathematics and Computer Science, studying at Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (picture). My mentors there were Joel Spencer and Sylvain Cappell.
I spent my first year in college at Moldova State University (picture) where I studied Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.
I really enjoy participating in various competitions/olympiads and to solve puzzles in general (more about that on my competitions/puzzles page). One of such competitions is the Putnam Exam, a challenging nation-wide (including Canada) college-level math contest, having around 3000 participants each year. I'm the Winner (Putnam Fellow) of the 1995-96 Putnam Exam. I was 33rd in 1994-95. Back in Moldova I won three times in a row the Moldavion High-school Mathematical Competition, participated twice in Soviet Union Mathematical Competition and was one of the winners of the Soviet Union Mathematics/Physics Correspondence Olympiad.
I spent the summer of 1994 in the Geometry Center, University of Minnesota, where I researched on "Geodesics on Orbifolds". I wrote a program ORBIFOLD PINBALL that computes geodesics for a non-trivial hyperbolic orbifold.
In Fall 98 I was helping Silvio Micali to teach Cryptography at MIT.
I was born in a beautiful city of Kishinev. It is a capital of Moldova (dont't know where it is?), now an independent country (see a funny map or a serious one) but previously one of the republics of the former Soviet Union. Visit Virtual Kishinev and the links therein to learn more about Kishinev and Moldova.
I finished with excellence a mathematical high-school in Kishinev together with 3 correspondence schools in Math/Physics/Chemistry that were run by Moldova State University. After that I went to Moldova State University to study applied math and computer science.
I did not get to finish it since a year later, in 1993, my family decided to immigrate to the United States. We came to New York (where my parents now live) and I transfered to NYU. I finished NYU in 1996, getting suma cum laude Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Computer Science.
During my last 2 summers at NYU I was working part-time as a computer programmer in a small company in Manhatten, called Intersoft. It gave me useful programming and business experience and good familiarity with "the real world".
Then I moved to MIT to pursue a PhD Degree in Computer Science. I sucessfully got my Master's Degree in spring 1998, following by the PhD degree in Cryptography in 2000.
In the fall of 2000, I was a Postdoc in the Cryptography Group at
the IBM T.J. Watson Research
Center. As of January 2001, I joined the computer science
departmert on New York University as an Assistant Professor of
Computer Science. And this is where I am now.