Mikhail Atallah

Mikhail Atallah
Fields Computer Science
Institutions Purdue University
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University
Doctoral advisor S. Rao Kosaraju

Mikhail Jibrayil (Mike) Atallah is a Lebanese American computer scientist, a distinguished professor of computer science at Purdue University.


Atallah received his bachelor's degree from the American University of Beirut in 1975. He then moved to Johns Hopkins University for his graduate studies, earning a master's degree in 1980 and a Ph.D. in 1982 under the supervision of S. Rao Kosaraju. Since that time he has been a member of the Purdue University faculty.[1][2]

In 2001 Atallah co-founded Arxan Technologies, Inc., a provider of internet anti-piracy and anti-tampering software, and in 2007 he became its chief technology officer.[3]


Atallah has published over 200 papers on topics in algorithms and computer security.[4]

Atallah's thesis work was on the subject of parallel algorithms,[2] and he continued working in that area as a faculty member. Algorithmic research by Atallah includes papers on parallel and dynamic computational geometry,[5] finding the symmetries of geometric figures,[6] divide and conquer algorithms,[7] and efficient parallel computations of the Levenshtein distance between pairs of strings.[8] With his student Marina Blanton, Atallah is the editor of the Algorithms and Theory of Computation Handbook (CRC Press, 2nd ed., 2009, ISBN 978-1-58488-818-5).

Atallah's more recent research has been in the area of computer security. His work in this area has included techniques for text-based digital watermarking.[9][10] and the addition of multiple guard points within software as an anti-piracy measure.[11]

Awards and honors

In 2006, Atallah was elected as a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for his "contributions to parallel and distributed computation".[12] He has also been a fellow of the IEEE since 1997.[1][13]


  1. 1 2 Department faculty profile, Purdue University, retrieved 2011-09-29.
  2. 1 2 Mikhail Jibrayil Atallah at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. Arxan Appoints Dr. Mikhail J. Atallah as Chief Technology Officer, Arxan Technologies, retrieved 2011-09-29.
  4. DBLP listing of Atallah's publications, retrieved 2011-09-29.
  5. Atallah, Mikhail J. (1985), "Some dynamic computational geometry problems", Computers & Mathematics with Applications, 11 (12): 1171–1181, doi:10.1016/0898-1221(85)90105-1, MR 822083. Atallah, Mikhail J.; Goodrich, Michael T. (1986), "Efficient parallel solutions to some geometric problems", J. Parallel Distrib. Comput., 3 (4): 492–507, doi:10.1016/0743-7315(86)90011-0.
  6. Atallah, Mikhail J. (1985), "On symmetry detection", IEEE Transactions on Computers, 34 (7): 663–666, doi:10.1109/TC.1985.1676605, MR 800338.
  7. Atallah, Mikhail J.; Cole, Richard; Goodrich, Michael T. (1989), "Cascading divide-and-conquer: a technique for designing parallel algorithms", SIAM Journal on Computing, 18 (3): 499–532, doi:10.1137/0218035, MR 996833.
  8. Apostolico, Alberto; Atallah, Mikhail J.; Larmore, Lawrence L.; McFaddin, Scott (1990), "Efficient parallel algorithms for string editing and related problems", SIAM Journal on Computing, 19 (5): 968–988, doi:10.1137/0219066, MR 1059665.
  9. "Word order may stump hackers", Times Higher Education, May 4, 2001.
  10. "Purdue Team Develops Watermark To Protect Electronic Documents", ScienceDaily, April 27, 2001
  11. "Multiple "guards" foil hackers", USA Today Magazine, June 1, 2003.
  12. ACM Fellow award citation, retrieved 2011-09-29.
  13. Fellows in Region 4, IEEE, retrieved 2011-09-29.
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