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Adi Shamir

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Adi Shamir
Shamir in 2018
Born (1952-07-06) July 6, 1952 (age 72)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Alma materTel Aviv University
Weizmann Institute of Science
Known forRSA
Feige–Fiat–Shamir identification scheme
differential cryptanalysis
Scientific career
InstitutionsWeizmann Institute
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis The fixedpoints of recursive definitions[2]  (1976)
Doctoral advisorZohar Manna[3]
Doctoral studentsEli Biham
Uriel Feige
Amos Fiat[3]

Adi Shamir (Hebrew: עדי שמיר; born July 6, 1952) is an Israeli cryptographer and inventor. He is a co-inventor of the Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) algorithm (along with Ron Rivest and Len Adleman), a co-inventor of the Feige–Fiat–Shamir identification scheme (along with Uriel Feige and Amos Fiat), one of the inventors of differential cryptanalysis and has made numerous contributions to the fields of cryptography and computer science.[4]


Adi Shamir was born in Tel Aviv. He received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in mathematics from Tel Aviv University in 1973 and obtained an MSc and PhD in computer science from the Weizmann Institute in 1975 and 1977 respectively.[3] He spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Warwick and did research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1977 to 1980.

Scientific career[edit]

In 1980, he returned to Israel, joining the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute. Starting from 2006, he is also an invited professor at École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

In addition to RSA, Shamir's other numerous inventions and contributions to cryptography include the Shamir secret sharing scheme, the breaking of the Merkle-Hellman knapsack cryptosystem, visual cryptography, and the TWIRL and TWINKLE factoring devices. Together with Eli Biham, he discovered differential cryptanalysis in the late 1980s, a general method for attacking block ciphers. It later emerged that differential cryptanalysis was already known — and kept a secret — by both IBM[5] and the National Security Agency (NSA).[6]

Shamir has also made contributions to computer science outside of cryptography, such as finding the first linear time algorithm for 2-satisfiability[7] and showing the equivalence of the complexity classes PSPACE and IP.

Awards and recognition[edit]

He was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2019.


  1. ^ a b Anon (2018). "Adi Shamir ForMemRS". royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society. Retrieved 2018-07-22. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)

  2. ^ Shamir, Adi (October 1976). The fixedpoints of recursive definitions. Weizmann Institute of Science. OCLC 884951223.
  3. ^ a b c Adi Shamir at the Mathematics Genealogy Project Edit this at Wikidata
  4. ^ Adi Shamir at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  5. ^ Coppersmith, Don (May 1994). "The Data Encryption Standard (DES) and its strength against attacks" (PDF). IBM Journal of Research and Development. 38 (3): 243–250. doi:10.1147/rd.383.0243. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-06-15. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Levy, Steven (2001). Crypto: How the Code Rebels Beat the Government — Saving Privacy in the Digital Age. Penguin Books. pp. 55–56. ISBN 0-14-024432-8.
  7. ^ Even, S.; Itai, A.; Shamir, A. (1976), "On the complexity of time table and multi-commodity flow problems", SIAM Journal on Computing, 5 (4): 691–703, doi:10.1137/0205048.
  8. ^ "A. M. Turing Award". Association for Computing Machinery. Archived from the original on 2009-12-12. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  9. ^ "ACM Award Citation / Adi Shamir". Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
  10. ^ "IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize Paper Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-04-25. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "Pius XI Medal". www.pas.va. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  12. ^ "IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award Recipients" (PDF). IEEE. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-24. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  13. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) - Recipient's C.V." Archived from the original on 2012-09-10.
  14. ^ "Israel Prize Official Site (in Hebrew) - Judges' Rationale for Grant to Recipient". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10.
  15. ^ "Presentation of the honorary degree at the Fall 2009 Convcation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-24. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  16. ^ "Laureates of the Japan Prize". Archived from the original on 2017-02-04.