Fourth Annual Paris Kanellakis Memorial Lecture


"Hyper-Encryption via Virtual Satellite"

Michael O. Rabin, Harvard University

Thursday, December 2, 2004 at 4:00 P.M.

Lubrano Conference Room

Modern encryption methods are based for their security on unproven assumptions such as the computational intractability of factorization of large integers. This has prompted research into alternatives such as quantum cryptography. We consider an encryption method employing an intensive public stream of random bits. The sender and receiver use a shared private key to extract from the stream one-time pads used to encrypt messages. I have shown, together with Y. Aumann and Y.Z. Ding, that this leads to provably unbreakable encryption and to everlasting secrecy. More recently we created the Virtual Satellite model, now being implemented at Harvard, which again provides provably unbreakable encryption. The talk will be self contained.


This lecture series honors Paris Kanellakis, a distinguished computer scientist who was an esteemed and beloved member of the Brown Computer Science department. Paris joined the Computer Science Department in 1981 and became a full professor in 1990. His research area was theoretical computer science, with emphasis on the principles of database systems, logic in computer science, the principles of distributed computing and combinatorial optimization. He died in an airplane crash on December 20, 1995, along with his wife, Maria Teresa Otoya, and their two young children, Alexandra and Stephanos Kanellakis.


Michael Rabin is T.J. Watson Sr. Professor of CS at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he had his first academic appointment. He was Albert Einstein Professor of Mathematics at the Hebrew University, serving as its Academic Head from 1972 to 1975. His awards include the ACM Turing Award, The IEEE Charles Babbage Award, The Harvey Prize for Science and Technology, and the Israel Prize in Computer Science, and the ACM Kanellakis Prize for theory and Practice. He has been elected to five major academies and holds five honorary degrees.

Host: Tom Doeppner