RSA Award for Excellence in Mathematics
|RSA Conference Award for Excellence in Mathematics|
|Awarded for||Outstanding achievements in cryptographic research defined broadly|
|Presented by||The RSA Conference|
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), 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. 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:
- Some areas are in the general Computational number theory and Computational algebra fields, or in the fields of Information theory and Computational complexity theory, where proper mathematical structures are constructed or investigated as underlying mathematics to be employed in the field of cryptography;
- Some areas are theoretical in nature, where new notions for Cryptographic primitives are defined and their security is carefully formalized as foundations of the field;
- Some areas are dedicated to designing new or improved primitives from concrete or abstract mathematical mechanisms for Symmetric-key cryptography, Public-key cryptography, and Cryptographic protocols (such as Zero-knowledge proofs, Secure multi-party computations, or Threshold cryptosystems);
- Some other areas are dedicated to Cryptanalysis: the breaking of cryptographic systems and mechanisms;
- Yet some other areas are dedicated to the actual practice of cryptography and its efficient cryptographic hardware and software implementations, and to developing and deploying new actual protocols (such as the Transport Layer Security and IPsec) to be used by information technology applications and systems.
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:
- Taher Elgamal (2009),
- Whitfield Diffie (2010),
- Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman (2011), and
- Martin Hellman (2012)
|Year||Recipient||Citation / Major Achievements|
|1998||Shafi Goldwasser||For pioneering theoretical foundations of modern cryptography.|
|1999||John Pollard||For major contributions to algebraic cryptanalysis of integer factorization and discrete logarithm.|
|2000||Ralph Merkle||For co-inventing public-key cryptography: the idea of key exchange and the Merkle's Puzzles.|
|2001||Scott Vanstone||For outstanding contributions to applied cryptography.|
|2002||Don Coppersmith||For exceptional contributions to symmetric and asymmetric Cryptanalysis.|
|2003||Mihir Bellare and Phillip Rogaway||For major contributions to practice oriented secure cryptography.|
|2004||Silvio Micali||For pioneering theoretical foundations of modern cryptography.|
|2005||Dan Boneh||For innovative designs of cryptographic primitives.|
|2006||Oded Goldreich||For basic contributions to the foundations of cryptography.|
|2007||Jacques Stern||For contributions to mathematical techniques underlying proofs of cryptographic protocols and cryptanalysis.|
|2008||Arjen Lenstra||For contributions to computational number theory, including to integer factorization.|
|2009||Neal Koblitz and Victor Miller||For inventing elliptic-curve cryptography.|
|2010||David Chaum||For innovating cryptographic anonymity primitives.|
|2011||Charles Rackoff||For computational complexity oriented cryptography, including co-inventing zero-knowledge proofs.|
|2012||Eli Biham||For symmetric key cryptanalysis, in particular for co-inventing differential cryptanalysis.|
|Mitsuru Matsui||For symmetric key cryptanalysis, in particular for inventing linear cryptanalysis.|
|2013||Jean-Jacques Quisquater||For contributions to cryptographic engineering: hardware, standards, and practical zero-knowledge authentication.|
|Claus P. Schnorr||For contributions to hardware oriented efficient practical zero-knowledge authentication and signatures.|
|2014||Bart Preneel||For contributions to applied cryptography and to the cryptanalysis and design of cryptographic hash functions.|
|2015||Ivan Damgård||For contributions to cryptographic hashing principles and to cryptographic protocols.|
|Hugo Krawczyk||For contributions to hashing based message authentication codes and to applied key-agreement protocols.|
|2016||Ueli Maurer||For contributions to Information-theoretic Cryptography and to analysis of cryptographic schemes.|
|2017||Tatsuaki Okamoto||For contributions to numerous primitives and protocols within public-key cryptography.|
|2018||Ran Canetti||For contributions to the foundations of secure multi-party computation.|
|Rafail Ostrovsky||For contributions to the theory and to new variants of secure multi-party computations.|
|2019||Tal Rabin||For contributions to distributed cryptographic protocols: Multi-Party Computations, threshold cryptography, and signature schemes.|
|2020||Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen||For major contributions to symmetric key cryptography, including the development of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)].|
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 
- 2009 Interview with N. Koblitz 
- 2013 Award ceremony: J.-J. Quisquater and C. P. Schnorr:
- 2014 Award ceremony: B. Preneel:
- 2015 Award ceremony: I.B. Damgård and H. Krawczyk 
- 2016 Award ceremony: U. Maurer 
- 2019 Award ceremony video: T. Rabin, and the Cryptographer's panel.
- 2020 Award ceremony video: J. Daemen and V. Rijmen.
- "The Cryptographer's Track at RSA Conference (CT-RSA)". Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- "RSA Conference Awards". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA® Conference 2009 Honors Information Security and Cryptography Experts for Their Work in the Fields of Mathematics, Public Policy and Security Practices". www.businesswire.com. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA Conference 2010 Honors Information Security and Cryptography Experts with 13th Annual Awards Program" (PDF).
- "RSA® Conference 2011 Announces Recipients of 14th Annual Awards Program". www.businesswire.com. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA® Conference 2012 Announces Recipients of 15th Annual Awards Program". www.businesswire.com. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA conference award for mathematics". cseweb.ucsd.edu. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "Ralph Merkle | Computer History Museum". www.computerhistory.org. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "CERTICOM FOUNDER RECEIVES SECURITY AWARD FOR MATHEMATICS FROM RSA". www.certicom.com. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "Don Coppersmith Wins RSA Security Award for Mathematics".
- "Co-founder of Voltage Security Wins RSA Award". www.SecurityInfoWatch.com. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA(R) Conference 2006 Awards Winners Announced". www.businesswire.com. 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "Ingenico Group - Ingenico's board member Professor Jacques Stern wins the 2007 RSA® Award for Excellence in the Field". www.ingenico.com. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- Office, Research (2008-12-31). "Prof. L. Arjen - RSA Award for excellence in the field of Mathematics". Cite journal requires
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCZURH0RBYM Jean-Jacques Quisquater and Claus Schnorr RSA CONFERENCE 2013 ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF 16th ANNUAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN MATHETMATICS
- "Bart Preneel receives excellence in mathematics award".
- https://www.rsaconference.com/industry-topics/video/2015-excellence-in-the-field-of-mathematics-award RSA Conference 2015 Announces Recipients Of 18th Annual Awards For Excellence In Mathematics
- "RSA Conference 2016 Announces Recipients of Annual Awards".
- "RSAC 2018 Unveils Recipients of Annual Awards | RSA Conference". www.rsaconference.com. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
- "RSA Conference 2019 Announces Recipient of Annual Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics".
- "RSA Conference 2020 Announces Excellence in the Field of Mathematics Award".
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-248cGfwy4 Victor Miller
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnX2U2V6OMc Neal Koblitz
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCZURH0RBYM Jean-Jacques Quisquater and Claus Schnorr
- https://www.rsaconference.com/industry-topics/video/excellence-in-the-field-of-mathematics-award Bart Preneel
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl6gCWVr0Q8 Hugo Krawczyk
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujDBrNLP8LY Ueli Maurer
- https://www.rsaconference.com/speakers/tal-rabin Tal Rabin