Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman on 1 March 2016 were honoured with the Association for Computing Machinery's 2015 A.M. Turing Award.
Diffie and Hellman were given the award for their fundamental contributions to modern cryptography. Their groundbreaking 1976 paper, New Directions in Cryptography, introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures, which are the foundation for most regularly-used security protocols on the internet at present.
Who is Whitfield Diffie?
• Whitfield Diffie is a former Vice President and Chief Security Officer of Sun Microsystems.
• A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he received the 1996 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award (with Leonard Adleman, Martin Hellman, Ralph Merkle, Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir), and received the 2010 IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (with Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle).
• He is a Marconi Fellow, a Fellow of the Computer History Museum and received an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Who is Martin Hellman?
• Martin E. Hellman is Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.
• A graduate of New York University, he earned his Master's degree and his Ph.D. from Stanford.
• He received the 1996 ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award (with Leonard Adleman, Whitfield Diffie, Ralph Merkle, Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir), as well as the 2010 IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal (with Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle).
• He is a Marconi Fellow, a Fellow of the Computer History Museum, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.
About ACM A. M. Turing Award
• The ACM A.M. Turing Award is an annual prize given by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
• It is given to an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community.
• The Turing Award is generally recognized as the highest distinction in computer science and is considered the Nobel Prize of computing.
• The award is named after Alan Turing, mathematician and reader in mathematics at the University of Manchester.
• The award carries a 1 million US dollar prize with financial support provided by Google, Inc.
• The first recipient, in 1966, was Alan Perlis, of Carnegie Mellon University.
• Frances E. Allen of IBM, in 2006, was the first female recipient in the award's 40-year history.
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When: 1 March 2016