Ron Rivest

For other people with the same surname, see Rivest (surname).
Ronald L. Rivest

Ronald L. Rivest, 2012
Born (1947-05-06) May 6, 1947
Schenectady, New York
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Cryptography
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater Stanford University
Yale University
Doctoral advisor Robert W. Floyd
Doctoral students Ben Adida
Javed Aslam
Alan Baratz
Paul Bayer
Margrit Betke
Avrim Blum
Stephen Boyack
Victor Boyko
Ben-Zion Chor
Kevin Fu
Igal Galperin
Sally Goldman
Jonathan Herzog
Susan Hohenberger
Burt Kaliski
Andrea LaPaugh
Errol Lloyd
Anna Lysyanskaya
Ron Pinter
Zulfikar Ramzan
Robert Schapire
Emily Shen
Alan Sherman
Mona Singh
Robert Sloan
Donna Slonim
Andrew Sutherland
Stephen Weis
Known for Public-key
RSA, RC2, RC4, RC5, RC6
MD2, MD4, MD5, MD6, Ring signature
Notable awards Paris Kanellakis Award (1996)
Turing Award (2002)
Marconi Prize (2007)

Ronald Linn Rivest (/rɪˈvɛst/;[1] born May 6, 1947) is a cryptographer and an Institute Professor at MIT. He is a member of MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and a member of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He was a member of the Election Assistance Commission's Technical Guidelines Development Committee, tasked with assisting the EAC in drafting the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.[2]

Rivest is one of the inventors of the RSA algorithm (along with Adi Shamir and Len Adleman). He is the inventor of the symmetric key encryption algorithms RC2, RC4, RC5, and co-inventor of RC6. The "RC" stands for "Rivest Cipher", or alternatively, "Ron's Code". (RC3 was broken at RSA Security during development; similarly, RC1 was never published.) He also authored the MD2, MD4, MD5 and MD6 cryptographic hash functions. In 2006, he published his invention of the ThreeBallot voting system, a voting system that incorporates the ability for the voter to discern that their vote was counted while still protecting their voter privacy. Most importantly, this system does not rely on cryptography at all. Stating "Our democracy is too important", he simultaneously placed ThreeBallot in the public domain.


Rivest (right) in March 1999.

Rivest earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Yale University in 1969, and a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. He is a co-author of Introduction to Algorithms (also known as CLRS), a standard textbook on algorithms, with Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson and Clifford Stein. He is a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in the Theory of Computation Group, and a founder of its Cryptography and Information Security Group. He was also a founder of RSA Data Security (now merged with Security Dynamics to form RSA Security), Verisign, and of Peppercoin. Professor Rivest has research interests in cryptography, computer and network security, and algorithms.

Honors and awards

Rivest is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the International Association for Cryptologic Research, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Together with Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, he has been awarded the 2000 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award and the Secure Computing Lifetime Achievement Award. He also shared with them the Turing Award. Rivest has received an honorary degree (the "laurea honoris causa") from the Sapienza University of Rome.[3] In 2005, he received the MITX Lifetime Achievement Award. Rivest was named the 2007 the Marconi Fellow, and on May 29, 2008 he also gave the Chesley lecture at Carleton College. He was named an Institute Professor at MIT in June 2015.[4]


See also


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