Gibbons Lecture Series: Public Key Cryptography: Computation, Cash and John Nash
Speaker: Associate Professor Steven Galbraith
When: 6pm for 6.30pm start, Thursday 15th May, 2014
Associate Professor Steven Galbraith is a leading researcher in computational number theory and the mathematics of public key cryptography. He has published over 50 papers in this area, written one book, and edited three conference proceedings. He has a Bachelors degree from the University of Waikato, a Masters from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and he completed his PhD at Oxford University in 1996. He has had post-doc or visiting researcher positions at Royal Holloway University of London (UK), British Telecom Research (Ipswich, UK), University of Waterloo (Canada), Institute for Experimental Mathematics (Essen, Germany), University of Bristol (UK) and Hewlett-Packard Research Labs (Bristol, UK). He has been at the University of Auckland since 2009.
Synopsis: This talk will explain how security can be enhanced by the use of hard computational problems from Mathematics. This was the basis for the creation of public key cryptography in the 1970s. Public key cryptography has many applications in information security, such as secure internet shopping, digital signatures and secure automatic software updates. We will see how digital signatures have now become a crucial component of the electronic currency bitcoin.
Cryptography is, of course, of great interest to national security. Recently (only declassified in 2012) it has been revealed that John Nash (subject of the film A Beautiful Mind) sent a letter to the United States National Security Agency in 1955. His letter outlined new concepts that anticipated by decades fundamental notions in computational complexity and modern cryptography.
The lecture will be streamed live.