Alessandro Chiesa was born in Varese, Italy, in 1987. He joined the EECS faculty at UC Berkeley in the summer of 2015 and currently conducts research in the areas of complexity theory, cryptography, and security, focusing on the theoretical foundations and practical implementations of zero knowledge proofs that are short and easy to verify. Chiesa is an author of libsnark, a C++ library for zkSNARKs, which is the leading open-source library for succinct zero knowledge proofs. He is a co-inventor of Zerocash, a new protocol that provides a privacy-preserving version of a cryptocurrency, and a co-founder of Zcash, a digital currency with strong privacy features. Both endeavors rely on libsnark. He is also a co-founder and chief scientist at StarkWare Industries, which uses succinct, transparent, zero knowledge cryptographic proofs to solve the inherent problems of blockchains – scalability and privacy.

Before coming to Berkeley, Chiesa spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich, hosted by Thomas Holenstein. He studied Theory of Computation at CSAIL in MIT, where he earned his his M.Eng. in 2010, advised by Eran Tromer and Ron Rivest, and his Ph.D. in 2014, advised by Silvio Micali. He earned B.S. degrees from MIT in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2009.


  • 2014, Ph.D., Computer Science, MIT
  • 2010, M.Eng., Computer Science, MIT
  • 2009, B.S., Computer Science and Mathematics, MIT

Awards, Memberships and Fellowships