Manuel Blum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Manuel Blum
Blum manuel lenore avrim.jpg
Manuel Blum (left) with his wife Lenore Blum and their son Avrim Blum, 1973
Born (1938-04-26) April 26, 1938 (age 78)
Caracas, Venezuela
Residence Pittsburgh
Fields Computer Science
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Carnegie Mellon University
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Thesis A Machine-Independent Theory of the Complexity of Recursive Functions (1964)
Doctoral advisor Marvin Minsky[1]
Doctoral students Leonard Adleman
Dana Angluin
C. Eric Bach
William Evans
Peter Gemmell
John Gill, III
Shafi Goldwasser
Mor Harchol-Balter
Diane Hernek
Nicholas Hopper
Russell Impagliazzo
Sampath Kannan
Silvio Micali
Gary Miller
Moni Naor
Rene Peralta
Ronitt Rubinfeld
Steven Rudich
Troy Shahoumian
Jeffrey Shallit
Michael Sipser
Elizabeth Sweedyk
Umesh Vazirani
Vijay Vazirani
Hal Wasserman
Luis von Ahn
Ryan Williams
Ivan da Costa Marques[1]
Known for Blum complexity axioms
Blum's speedup theorem
Blum Blum Shub
Blum-Goldwasser cryptosystem
Notable awards Turing Award (1995)
Spouse Lenore Blum

Manuel Blum (Caracas, 26 April 1938) is a Venezuelan computer scientist who received the Turing Award in 1995 "In recognition of his contributions to the foundations of computational complexity theory and its application to cryptography and program checking".[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


Blum was educated at MIT, where he received his bachelor's degree and his master's degree in EECS in 1959 and 1961 respectively, and his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1964 supervised by Marvin Minsky.[1][7]


He worked as a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley until 1999. In 2002 he was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences.

He is currently the Bruce Nelson Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where his wife, Lenore Blum,[9] and son, Avrim Blum, are also professors of Computer Science.


In the 60s he developed an axiomatic complexity theory which was independent of concrete machine models. The theory is based on Gödel numberings and the Blum axioms. Even though the theory is not based on any machine model it yields concrete results like the compression theorem, the gap theorem, the honesty theorem and the Blum speedup theorem.

Some of his other work includes a protocol for flipping a coin over a telephone, median of medians (a linear time selection algorithm), the Blum Blum Shub pseudorandom number generator, the Blum-Goldwasser cryptosystem, and more recently CAPTCHAs.[10]

Blum is also known as the advisor of many prominent researchers. Among his Ph.D. students are Leonard Adleman, Shafi Goldwasser, Russell Impagliazzo, Silvio Micali, Gary Miller, Moni Naor, Steven Rudich, Michael Sipser, Ronitt Rubinfeld, Umesh Vazirani, Vijay Vazirani, Luis von Ahn, and Ryan Williams.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Manuel Blum at the Mathematics Genealogy Project.
  2. ^ ACM Turing Award Citation, retrieved 2010-01-24.
  3. ^ Manuel Blum at DBLP Bibliography Server
  4. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  5. ^ Blum, Manuel; Micali, Silvio (1984). "How to Generate Cryptographically Strong Sequences of Pseudorandom Bits" (PDF). SIAM Journal on Computing. 13 (4): 850. doi:10.1137/0213053. 
  6. ^ Blum, M.; Floyd, R. W.; Pratt, V. R.; Rivest, R. L.; Tarjan, R. E. (August 1973). "Time bounds for selection" (PDF). Journal of Computer and System Sciences. 7 (4): 448–461. doi:10.1016/S0022-0000(73)80033-9. 
  7. ^ a b Blum, Manuel (1967). "A Machine-Independent Theory of the Complexity of Recursive Functions" (PDF). Journal of the ACM. 14 (2): 322–336. doi:10.1145/321386.321395. 
  8. ^ Blum, L.; Blum, M.; Shub, M. (1986). "A Simple Unpredictable Pseudo-Random Number Generator". SIAM Journal on Computing. 15 (2): 364. doi:10.1137/0215025. 
  9. ^ Blum, L.; Blum, M. (1975). "Toward a mathematical theory of inductive inference". Information and Control. 28 (2): 125. doi:10.1016/S0019-9958(75)90261-2. 
  10. ^ Von Ahn, Luis; Blum, Manuel; Hopper, Nicholas J.; Langford, John (May 2003). "CAPTCHA: Using Hard AI Problems for Security". Proceedings of the International Conference on the Theory and Applications of Cryptographic Techniques (EUROCRYPT 2003).