Raluca Ada Popa

Raluca Ada Popa

Robert E. and Beverly A. Brooks Associate Professor, UC Berkeley
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
UC Berkeley
Address: 729 Soda Hall, Berkeley, CA, 94720
Email: raluca AT eecs DOT berkeley DOT edu

I am an associate professor at UC Berkeley. I am interested in security, systems, and applied cryptography.
I co-founded and co-direct the RISELab, a lab aiming to build systems that are secure and intelligent , and the DARE program for promoting diversity and equity. As faculty, I was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship, Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, NSF CAREER, Bakar Faculty Fellowship, and I was selected to the list of 35 innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review.

Starting with 2021, I have been a co-founder and the President of Opaque Systems.
Starting with 2015, I have been a co-founder (and served as CTO) of PreVeil.

Before joining UC Berkeley, I did a one-year postdoc at ETH Zürich in the System Security group led by Srdjan Capkun. Before that, in 2014, I completed my Ph.D. in computer science at MIT, my thesis being about building practical systems that compute on encrypted data. My PhD thesis was awarded a George M. Sprowls Award for best MIT CS doctoral theses. My advisor was Nickolai Zeldovich, and I was also fortunate to work closely with Hari Balakrishnan in systems, and with Shafi Goldwasser, Yael Kalai, and Vinod Vaikuntanathan in cryptography. I earned my Masters of Engineering in Computer Science in 2010 and my two Bachelors in Computer Science and Mathematics in 2009 also from MIT.


PhD advisees:



In addition, I have been working with a wonderful group of undergraduates.

My students and I focus on building secure systems with the help of modern cryptography. Instead of relying on a server that becomes a central point of attack, our research provides cryptographic guarantees of privacy or integrity even if the server is compromised.



CS 276: Cryptography and Applications, Fall 2020, graduate

CS 161: Computer Security, Spring 2020, undergraduate, ≈620 students

CS 294: Decentralized Security: Theory and Systems, Fall 2019, graduate, NEW COURSE

CS 161: Computer Security, Spring 2019, undergraduate, ≈600 students

CS 261: Security in Computer Systems, Fall 2018, graduate

CS 161: Computer Security, Spring 2018, undergraduate, ≈625 students

CS 261: Security in Computer Systems, Fall 2017, graduate

CS 161: Computer Security, Fall 2016, undergraduate, ≈380 students

CS 294: RISE Lab: Real-time, Intelligent, and Secure Systems, Fall 2016, graduate, NEW COURSE

CS 161: Computer Security, Spring 2016, undergraduate, ≈500 students

CS 261: Security in Computer Systems, Fall 2015, graduate

As professor:

As graduate student:

As undergraduate student:


In early 2019, I launched , a diversity program aiming to match strong undergraduates, many from underrepresented backgrounds, with EECS professors for research. With help from EECS, we developed a web application system for DARE. As of June 2020, 30 professors are part of DARE, and a total of about 41 undergraduate students, many from underrepresented backgrounds, have engaged in research with EECS faculty.


I am a Program Chair and organizer of CCS 2020 workshop PPMLP: Privacy-preserving machine learning in practice.

PC committees