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Justin Douglas Tygar
In Memoriam

Justin Douglas Tygar

Professor, School of Information and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences

UC Berkeley
Justin Douglas Tygar passed away unexpectedly on January 16, 2020.

Doug was born on October 27, 1962 in California. He received his B.A. in mathematics/computer science from UC Berkeley (1982) and Ph.D. in computer science from Harvard University (1986). He joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in 1986, where he was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Presidential Young Investigator Award (1988).

Doug returned to Berkeley as a faculty member in 1998 with a joint appointment in the School of Information and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. As a Professor of Computer Science and a Professor of Information Management and Systems, his research made unique and significant contributions to the fields of usable computer security, cryptography, privacy, and digital rights management.

He served as chair of the Defense Department's Information Sciences and Technology Study Group on Security with Privacy and he was a founding board member of the Special Interest Group on Electronic Commerce within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). 

Doug co-founded the Secure Machine Learning research group (2004), which focused on defining how adversaries can influence and manipulate machine learning algorithms and how to make them robust against such attacks. This culminated in his 2019 book, Adversarial Machine Learning, co-authored with EECS colleague Anthony Joseph and two former students. 

A committed teacher and mentor, he helped to create and co-teach the first offering of the undergraduate computer security class at Berkeley (CS 161), and most recently assisted in crafting and launching the School of Information’s Master of Information and Cybersecurity in 2018. He was consistent and determined in promoting the careers of women in computing, including his former students Dawn Song, Alma Whitten, and Rachna Dhamija. His campus service included representing the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate on the Chancellor's Joint Oversight Committee on Parking (2003-06) and serving on the Graduate Council (2007-08).

Doug was an integral member of the Berkeley’s Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST), one of only two NSF Science and Technology Centers to be funded in 2005.

His 2005 paper (with A. Whitten), “Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt: A Useability Evaluation of PGP 5.0” helped to launch the field of ‘usable security’ and won a Test of Time Award ten years later from USENIX: The Advanced Computing Systems Association. His 2000 paper (with A. Perrig, R. Canetti, D. Song), “Efficient Authentication and Signing of Multicast Streams Over Lossy Channels” won a twenty-year test of time award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Tygar designed cryptographic postage standards for the United States Postal Service and helped build a number of security and electronic commerce systems, including Strongbox, Dyad, Netbill, and Micro-Tesla.

Doug Tygar was a special voice in our departments. As a colleague, his sense of humor, infectious laugh, and encyclopedic knowledge of all things Berkeley is irreplaceable. He was an outstanding technical scholar with a deep appreciation of the social aspects of cybersecurity and privacy in practice — a genuine insider in both EECS and the I School.

Doug was a passionate person who brought a high level of energy and commitment not just to his scholarly work, but to many aspects of his life. Doug and his wife, "Xiaoniu" Su-chu Hsu Tygar, were married in 2001. They enjoyed gardening, visiting art galleries and going to concerts. They traveled the world, exploring both the Antarctic and Arctic. Doug had an extensive knowledge of many diverse topics including wine, literature, music, and politics. He loved to argue the finer points of each, and he was always seeking to educate and learn in equal measure.

He is survived by his wife Xiaoniu Su-chu Hsu Tygar, his father Myron Tygar, his mother Mary Mindel, and his sister, Lauriebeth Wassink. 

Marti Hearst 
Deirdre Mulligan
Steve Weber