RSA Award for Excellence in Mathematics

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RSA Conference Award for Excellence in Mathematics
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in cryptographic research defined broadly
Presented byThe RSA Conference
First awarded1998

The RSA Conference (RSAC) Award for Excellence in Mathematics is an annual award. It is announced at the annual RSA Conference in recognition of innovations and contributions in the field of cryptography. An award committee of experts, which is associated with the Cryptographer's Track committee at the RSA Conference (CT-RSA),[1] nominates to the award persons who are pioneers in their field, and whose work has had applied or theoretical lasting value; the award is typically given for the lifetime achievements throughout the nominee's entire career.[2] Nominees are often affiliated with universities or involved with research and development in the industry.

While the field of modern cryptography started to be an active research area in the 1970's, it has already contributed heavily to Information technology and has served as a critical component in advancing the world of computing: the Internet, Cellular networks, and Cloud computing, Privacy engineering, Anonymity, and Information security, to mention just a few areas. Research in Cryptography as a scientific field involves the disciplines of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Engineering. The award, which started in 1998, is one of the few recognitions fully dedicated to acknowledging experts who have advanced the field of cryptography and its related areas (another such recognition is achieving the rank of an IACR Fellow).

The first recipient of the award in 1998 was Shafi Goldwasser. Also, many of the award winners have gotten other recognitions, such as other prestigious awards, and the rank of fellow in various professional societies, etc.

Research in Cryptography is broad and is dedicated to numerous areas. In fact, the award has, over the years, emphasized the methodological contributions to the field which involve mathematical research in various ways, and has recognized achievements in many of the following crucial areas of research:

To further read on various aspects of cryptography, from history to areas of modern research, see Books on cryptography.

It is worth noting that in addition to the Award for Excellence in Mathematics which recognizes lifetime achievement in the specific area of Cryptographic research, the RSA conference has also presented a separate lifetime achievement awards in the more general field of information security. Past recipients of this award from the field of cryptography include:

Past recipients[edit]

Year Recipient Citation / Major Achievements
1998 Shafi Goldwasser For pioneering theoretical foundations of modern cryptography.[7]
1999 John Pollard For major contributions to algebraic cryptanalysis of integer factorization and discrete logarithm.[7]
2000 Ralph Merkle For co-inventing public-key cryptography: the idea of key exchange and the Merkle's Puzzles.[7][8]
2001 Scott Vanstone For outstanding contributions to applied cryptography.[7][9]
2002 Don Coppersmith For exceptional contributions to symmetric and asymmetric Cryptanalysis.[7][10]
2003 Mihir Bellare and Phillip Rogaway For major contributions to practice oriented secure cryptography.[7]
2004 Silvio Micali For pioneering theoretical foundations of modern cryptography.[7]
2005 Dan Boneh For innovative designs of cryptographic primitives.[11]
2006 Oded Goldreich For basic contributions to the foundations of cryptography.[12]
2007 Jacques Stern For contributions to mathematical techniques underlying proofs of cryptographic protocols and cryptanalysis.[13]
2008 Arjen Lenstra For contributions to computational number theory, including to integer factorization.[14]
2009 Neal Koblitz and Victor Miller For inventing elliptic-curve cryptography.[3]
2010 David Chaum For innovating cryptographic anonymity primitives.[4]
2011 Charles Rackoff For computational complexity oriented cryptography, including co-inventing zero-knowledge proofs.[5]
2012 Eli Biham For symmetric key cryptanalysis, in particular for co-inventing differential cryptanalysis.[6]
Mitsuru Matsui For symmetric key cryptanalysis, in particular for inventing linear cryptanalysis.[6]
2013 Jean-Jacques Quisquater For contributions to cryptographic engineering: hardware, standards, and practical zero-knowledge authentication.[15]
Claus P. Schnorr For contributions to hardware oriented efficient practical zero-knowledge authentication and signatures.[15]
2014 Bart Preneel For contributions to applied cryptography and to the cryptanalysis and design of cryptographic hash functions.[16]
2015 Ivan Damgård For contributions to cryptographic hashing principles and to cryptographic protocols.[17]
Hugo Krawczyk For contributions to hashing based message authentication codes and to applied key-agreement protocols.[17]
2016 Ueli Maurer For contributions to Information-theoretic Cryptography and to analysis of cryptographic schemes.[18]
2017 Tatsuaki Okamoto For contributions to numerous primitives and protocols within public-key cryptography.[19]
2018 Ran Canetti For contributions to the foundations of secure multi-party computation.[20]
Rafail Ostrovsky For contributions to the theory and to new variants of secure multi-party computations.[20]
2019 Tal Rabin For contributions to distributed cryptographic protocols: Multi-Party Computations, threshold cryptography, and signature schemes.[21]
2020 Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen For major contributions to symmetric key cryptography, including the development of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)].[22]


Here are a few examples of videos from the award ceremonies and interviews with award winners; these give some more information about each specific award year, and demonstrate the breadth of research behind each such an award:

  • 2009 Interview with V. Miller [23]
  • 2009 Interview with N. Koblitz [24]
  • 2013 Award ceremony: J.-J. Quisquater and C. P. Schnorr:[25]
  • 2014 Award ceremony: B. Preneel:[26]
  • 2015 Award ceremony: I.B. Damgård and H. Krawczyk [27]
  • 2016 Award ceremony: U. Maurer [28]
  • 2019 Award ceremony video: T. Rabin, and the Cryptographer's panel.[29]
  • 2020 Award ceremony video: J. Daemen and V. Rijmen.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Cryptographer's Track at RSA Conference (CT-RSA)". Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  2. ^ "RSA Conference Awards". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  3. ^ a b "RSA® Conference 2009 Honors Information Security and Cryptography Experts for Their Work in the Fields of Mathematics, Public Policy and Security Practices". 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  4. ^ a b "RSA Conference 2010 Honors Information Security and Cryptography Experts with 13th Annual Awards Program" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b "RSA® Conference 2011 Announces Recipients of 14th Annual Awards Program". 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  6. ^ a b c "RSA® Conference 2012 Announces Recipients of 15th Annual Awards Program". 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "RSA conference award for mathematics". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  8. ^ "Ralph Merkle | Computer History Museum". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  10. ^ "Don Coppersmith Wins RSA Security Award for Mathematics".
  11. ^ "Co-founder of Voltage Security Wins RSA Award". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  12. ^ "RSA(R) Conference 2006 Awards Winners Announced". 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  13. ^ "Ingenico Group - Ingenico's board member Professor Jacques Stern wins the 2007 RSA® Award for Excellence in the Field". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  14. ^ Office, Research (2008-12-31). "Prof. L. Arjen - RSA Award for excellence in the field of Mathematics". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ "Bart Preneel receives excellence in mathematics award".
  17. ^ a b RSA Conference 2015 Announces Recipients Of 18th Annual Awards For Excellence In Mathematics
  18. ^ "RSA Conference 2016 Announces Recipients of Annual Awards".
  19. ^ {®-Conference-2017-Closes-Record-Attendance}
  20. ^ a b "RSAC 2018 Unveils Recipients of Annual Awards | RSA Conference". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  21. ^ "RSA Conference 2019 Announces Recipient of Annual Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics".
  22. ^ "RSA Conference 2020 Announces Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Award".
  23. ^ Victor Miller
  24. ^ Neal Koblitz
  25. ^ Jean-Jacques Quisquater and Claus Schnorr
  26. ^ Bart Preneel
  27. ^ Hugo Krawczyk
  28. ^ Ueli Maurer
  29. ^ Tal Rabin
  30. ^