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Don Coppersmith Wins RSA Security Award for Mathematics

Pioneering work in block cipher cryptology leads to a 25-year standard

Yorktown Heights, NY, USA - 19 Feb 2002: IBM researcher Don Coppersmith has won The RSA Security Award for Mathematics for his work in the field of cryptography. Coppersmith's work in the area of block cipher cryptology contributed to the Data Encryption standard (DES), which has served as the cryptographic standard for the past twenty-five years and enables secure communications and commerce.

Coppersmith has conducted research in the area of cryptography and computational complexity at IBM Research's Department of Mathematical Sciences since 1977. His work includes membership on the design team for DES, algorithms for computing discrete logarithms (with cryptographic applications), methods for cryptanalyzing low-exponent RSA encryption, and algorithms for rapid matrix multiplication and for sparse matrices over finite fields. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Harvard University in 1977.

Along with being an IEEE Fellow, Coppersmith is a four-time winner of the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, and recipient of an IBM Outstanding Innovation Award.

As one of the industry's most prestigious awards, The RSA Security Award for Mathematics recognizes innovation and ongoing contributions to the field of cryptography. RSA Security also presents awards for Industry and Public Policy contributions. The selection committee, which includes members of the industry, academic community and public sector, identifies nominees who are pioneers in their field and whose work has applied value.

Traditionally RSA Security has awarded work in the field of digital signature; this is the first time they someone in the block cipher field will win the RSA Security Award for Mathematics. The award was announced at RSA's eleventh annual conference held February 18th-22nd, 2002 in San Jose, California.

Last year's recipients were Dr. Scott Vanstone, a noted cryptographer and founder of Certicom Corporation, Mathematics; Gemplus, a leading manufacturer of smart cards, Industry; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Advanced Encryption Standard Committee, Public Policy.

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