|Born||9 February 1935|
Sheffield, England, UK
|Died||1 March 2003 (aged 68)|
Willingham, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for||Needham–Schroeder protocol |
Tiny Encryption Algorithm
|Spouse(s)||Karen Spärck Jones|
|Awards||Faraday Medal (1998)|
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
|Institutions||University of Cambridge|
|Thesis||The application of digital computers to problems of classification and grouping (1962)|
|Doctoral advisor||David Wheeler|
Roger Michael Needham was born in Birmingham, England, the only child of Phyllis Mary, née Baker (c.1904–1976) and Leonard William Needham (c.1905–1973), a university chemistry lecturer. He attended Doncaster Grammar School for Boys in Doncaster (then in the West Riding) going on to St John's College, Cambridge in 1953, and graduating with a BA in 1956 in mathematics and philosophy. His PhD thesis was on applications of digital computers to the automatic classification and retrieval of documents. He worked on a variety of key computing projects in security, operating systems, computer architecture (capability systems) and local area networks.
Among his theoretical contributions is the development of the Burrows-Abadi-Needham logic for authentication, generally known as the BAN logic. His Needham–Schroeder (co-invented with Michael Schroeder) security protocol forms the basis of the Kerberos authentication and key exchange system. He also co-designed the TEA and XTEA encryption algorithms. He pioneered the technique of protecting passwords using a one-way hash function.
In 1962 he joined the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory, then called the Mathematical Laboratory, becoming Head of Laboratory in 1980. He was made a professor in 1981 and remained with the laboratory until his retirement in 1995. In 1997 he set up Microsoft's UK-based Research Laboratory. He was a founding Fellow of University College, Cambridge, which became Wolfson College.
Needham was elected to the Royal Society in 1985, became a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1993 and received a CBE for his contributions to computing in 2001. He also was a longtime and respected member of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Security and Privacy and the University Grants Committee. He was made a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1994.
Roger Needham Award
EuroSys Roger Needham PhD award
EuroSys established the annual Roger Needham PhD award in his honour. It awards €2,000 to a PhD student from a European university whose thesis is regarded to be an exceptional, innovative contribution to knowledge in the computer systems area. Past winners have been:
- 2021 Victor van de Veen, (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
- 2020 Michael Schwarz, Graz University of Technology for his PhD thesis Software-based Side-Channel Attacks and Defenses in Restricted Environments
- 2019 Manolis Karpathiotakis, EPFL
- 2018 Dennis Andriesse (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for his PhD thesis Analyzing and Securing Binaries Through Static Disassembly
- 2015 Cristiano Giuffrida (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for his PhD thesis Safe and Automatic Live Update
- 2014 Torvald Riegel (Technische Universitaet Dresden), for his thesis Software Transactional Memory Building Blocks
- 2013 Asia Slowinska (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for her PhD thesis Using Information Flow Tracking to Protect Legacy Binaries
- 2012 Derek Murray (University of Cambridge), for his thesis A Distributed Execution Engine Supporting Data-Dependent Control Flow
- 2011 Jorrit Herder (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for Building a Dependable Operating System: Fault Tolerance in MINIX 3
- 2010 Willem de Bruijn (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) for Adaptive Operating System Design for High Throughput I/O
- 2009 Jacob Gorm Hansen (DIKU) for Virtual Machine Mobility with Self-Migration
- 2008 Adam Dunkels (SICS) for Programming Memory-Constrained Networked Embedded Systems
- 2007 Nick Cook (Newcastle University) for Middleware Support for Non-repudiable Business-to-Business Interactions
- 2006 Oliver Heckmann (TU Darmstadt) for A System-oriented Approach to Efficiency and Quality of Service for Internet Service Providers
- Hoare, T.; Wilkes, M. V. (2004). "Roger Michael Needham CBE FREng. 9 February 1935 - 1 March 2003: Elected F.R.S. 1985". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 50: 183–199. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2004.0014. S2CID 58340004.
- Herbert, Andrew James, "Needham, Roger Michael (1935–2003)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, March 2009; online edition, January 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2018 (subscription required)
- Wilkes, M. V. Time-Sharing Computer Systems. American Elsevier, New York, (1968).
- Schofield, Jack (10 March 2003). "Roger Needham". The Guardian.
- "ACM Fellow Roger Needham Dies at 62". Pressroom. ACM. 7 March 2003.
- Peterson, Kim (6 March 2003). "Microsoft's Needham dies from cancer". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Roger Needham Lecture at the British Computer Society website
- "European Chapter of ACM SIGOPS". www.eurosys.org. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
- "phd-award - European Chapter of ACM SIGOPS". www.eurosys.org. Retrieved 7 December 2019.
- Roger Needham at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Information about Roger Needham provided by his wife
- Obit: Roger Needham, The Register, 2 March 2003
- Roger Needham, Computer Security Expert, Dies at 68, The New York Times, 6 March 2003
- Speech presenting Needham with an honorary degree, Loughborough University, 13 July 2001