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Adam Waksman
United States
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Adam Waksman is a scientist and entrepreneur in the field of computer science. He currently serves as the part-time CTO and Co-Founder of Epickk, a social-gifting start-up. Adam Waksman is also nearing completion of his doctoral thesis in computer science at Columbia University.

Having published and earned patents for multiple inventions in the areas of computer security and computer architecture, Adam Waksman is interested in further pursuits into research and the private tech sector.

Adam Waksman is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University in the Computer Architecture Security & Technology Lab. He is advised by Simha Sethumadhavan and funded by an NDSEG Fellowship from the Department of Defense. He intends to defend his Ph.D. thesis in early 2014.

Adam Waksman is also the part-time CTO of Epickk, Inc., a tech start-up that he co-founded in late 2012. He has teamed up with a group of professionals to found this social gifting service that aims to change the way people celebrate and socialize together. Essentially, Adam Waksman describes Epickk as a platform that allows users to purchase services—such as lunch or dinner—as gifts for loved ones and friends. The Epickk service is a new approach to social interaction on the web, as it provides consumers with a new gift-giving option—aside from buying a gift, wrapping it and packaging it to send. In addition, the service provides a social experience that is more engaging, personal and exciting than simply delivering a gift card.

As the chief technology officer at Epickk, Waksman has many accomplishments. For instance, using his knowledge in web design and architecture, as well as his previous experience from developing for Facebook, he has served as the lead developer for the Epickk site—a portal (currently in private beta) that provides a clean aesthetic and seamless experience for the user.

Meanwhile, Waksman continues his doctoral research at Columbia. His primary contributions have been in computer security and computer architecuture, fields in which he has several publications at top-tier conferences in journals, such as the International Symposium on Computer Architecture. He also holds two patents in the area of hardware security, specifically tamper-evident microprocessors and methods for protecting against hardware backdoor attacks. Through his publications, he has also contributed to the areas of side-channel software security, antivirus, protection against malware, machine learning and neuroscience.

From 2001 to 2005, Adam Waksman attended Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, where he graduated cum laude and earned a perfect 1600 on his SAT. Waksman also took part in in a research project as an assistant at Mount Sinai, where he tested protein binding interactions in vitro, aiming to assess the correlation between specific alleles and axon interactions, in order to further progress understanding in modern neuroscience and help to fight neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s.

Also during high school, Adam Waksman was a member of the Westchester County Math Team and was honored as a New York State Finalist, as well as being named the Westchester County Most Valuable Player, in both 2004 and 2005. In addition to this achievement, Waksman also served as a captain for the Byram Hills High School Academic Team, which qualified for the national finals in 2004 and 2005. Waksman was relatively successful in athletics as well, serving for six seasons as team captain for the Byram Hills High School Varsity Cross Country/Track and Field team. In the spring of 2005, he earned the title of New York State All-State Athlete.

Adam Waksman was accepted into Columbia University in New York City in 2005, where he earned his bachelor of arts in mathematics and computer science, earning a 4.0 GPA in computer science and a 3.80 GPA overall. In addition to his two majors and Columbia's core curriculum, Adam took several classes in philosophy, history, physics and writing. During his university career, Waksman was noted for several accomplishments, including his service as an undergraduate research assistant on a project that derived lemmas concerning the intricacy of Quasi-Monte Carlo methods for integral approximation. Additionally, in 2009, Waksman completed an undergraduate thesis for computer science in which he proved an original theorem regarding the nature of binomial coefficients with respect to combinatorial theory. This thesis earned him the Theodore R. Bashkow Outstanding Research Award. In addition to these academic achievements, he was placed on the Dean’s List seven times and was the recipient of Computer Science Department Academic Excellence Award.

Although focused on academics for much of his time at Columbia University, Adam Waksman paid respect to his creative and athletic abilities. For instance, he co-founded and contributed to The Gadfly, the university’s philosophy magazine. In addition, Waksman was a member of the Columbia Lions Varsity Track and Field Team where he concentrated on NCAA Division 1 sprinting competitions. He later pursued his Master's of Science in computer science at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. During this time, he was recognized as a Best Paper of the Year Finalist at the annual CSAW conference in 2010 and again in 2011. Additionally, Waksman earned honorable mention from the National Science Foundational Graduate Research Fellowship in 2010 and 2011.

Although Waksman was concentrated on academic and athletic performance during his educational career, he also took time to develop his professional abilities. Before graduating high school, for instance, he served as a neurobiology research intern at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York between 2003 and 2005. During his time at Mount Sinai, Waksman conducted biological experiments that gained publicity in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Growing from his interests in biology and chemistry, Adam Waksman followed a professional path in the sciences during his undergraduate years at Columbia University, where he served first as an astrophysics intern and later as a software engineering intern. As an intern, Waksman contributed to a software development project that aimed to establish ray tracing simulation for use in astrophysics research. Respected for his skills in mathematics and computer science, Waksman earned a summer position with the National Security Agency in 2008 as an applied research mathematician.

As an academic, Adam Waksman gained an appreciation for the role education plays in society and decided to take on goals to serve as not just a student, but also an educator. In 2008, Waksman began to explore this side of his acumen as a teaching assistant in graph theory at Columbia University. Having a successful experience in this role, Waksman later served as a teaching assistant in computer hardware design at Columbia University. Taking on extensive responsibilities in this position, he not only prepared and delivered lectures to the class, but also established a Synopsys Verilog design and synthesis environment for student use.

In order to help others develop greater foundations in their academic careers, Waksman served as a student mentor for two high school students in 2010. Waksman assisted these students with their goals and projects in applied computer science research, both resulting in success. One of these students is now partaking in higher level research projects at Columbia.

While pursuing his masters and Ph. D. at Columbia University, Waksman also spent a summer (in 2011) working at Facebook. He traveled to Palo Alto, California, where he served as a software engineering intern, improving the backend search, ranking and recommendation processes for the site. Having established a comprehensive background and varied skills in computer science and mathematics, Waksman gained a taste for entrepreneurship. As such, Adam Waksman was led to serve as the co-founder and chief technology officer at Epickk, a small company established in late 2012.

Waksman is now nearing the end of his Ph.D., which he intends to defend and complete in early 2014.

Adam Waksman will be defending his Ph.D. thesis in early 2014, after which he anticipates working full-time in private industry. As a co-founder and chief technology officer at Epickk, Adam is also continuing to develop and maintain the company and its services. The Epickk team is concentrated on forming business relationships to expand the concept of social gifting.

Waksman continues to focus on his academic endeavors. Since 2009, he has continued his education at Columbia University as a Ph.D. researcher in the Computer Architecture and Security Technology Lab. Currently, he serves as an awardee of the NDSEG Fellowship from the Department of Defense. Although he anticipates the completion of his Ph.D. in April 2014, Waksman continues to focus on his contributions to the academic community.

Specifically, Adam Waksman was recognized as a Best Paper of the Year Finalist at the CSAW conference for his security paper on Tamper Evident Microprocessors in 2010 and again in 2011 for his paper on Silencing Hardware Backdoors. Additionally, Waksman has filed for two patents regarding systems and methods designing trustworthy hardware. He has published a total of seven papers at top-tier conferences and journals. His eighth publication will be going public this November at CCS in Berlin. As he progresses through his entrepreneurial endeavors, Adam Waksman hopes to strengthen his voice in the computer science tech and research communities.

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