[ExI] Public-key encryption honored
lubkin at unreasonable.com
Wed Mar 2 22:57:20 UTC 2016
Cryptography Pioneers Win Turing Award
Cryptography Pioneers Receive 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award
Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman won the 2015
Turing Award. The Turing, often called the Nobel
Prize of Computer Science, is a big deal. The
honorees are the best we have. Folks like John
McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Vint Cerf, Donald Knuth,
and Richard Hamming. And the prize is now a million dollars.
Without doubt, Diffie and Hellman deserve this
recognition. Public-key encryption is a big deal
and we'll be finding new uses for it for decades.
But there are two curiosities about the awarding.
First, it was already given in 2002 to Rivest,
Shamir, and Adleman for work that relied on
Diffie and Hellman. Logically, RSA should have gotten it after Diffie-Hellman.
Second, in many minds they're a trioDiffie,
Hellman, and extropian Ralph Merkle. The Computer
History Museum named the three of them together
as fellows, for their work with each other.
Rudely, the photo that the New York Times used
was actually of the three of them; they cropped Ralph out.
In the earlier awarding of the Kanellakis Theory
and Practice Award in 1996, all six public-key pioneers were named.
It doesn't make up for losing the prestige and a
third of a million dollars, but I say ye Ralph Merkle!
More information about the extropy-chat