Professor Rivest is an MIT Institute Professor. His home department is the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a member of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), a member of the lab's Theory of Computation Group and is a leader of its Cryptography and Information Security Group.
Professor Rivest has current research interests in cryptography, computer and network security, voting systems, and algorithms. In the past he has also worked extensively in the area of machine learning.
Professor Rivest is a co-author (with Professors Cormen, Leiserson, and Stein) of the well-known text Introduction to Algorithms, published by MIT Press. Over 500,000 copies of this text have been sold. It has been translated into 12 languages.
Professor Rivest is an inventor of the RSA public-key cryptosystem. He has extensive experience in cryptographic design and cryptanalysis, and has published numerous papers in these areas. He has served as a Director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the organizing body for the Eurocrypt and Crypto conferences, and as a Director of the Financial Cryptography Association. He is a founder of RSA Data Security. (RSA was bought by Security Dynamics; the combined company was renamed to RSA Security, and later purchased by EMC), and is also a co-founder of Verisign and of Peppercoin.
Professor Rivest is a member of the
CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project.
He has served on the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC),
advisory to the Election Assistance Commission, developing recommendations
for voting system certification standards; he was chair of the TGDC's
Computer Security and Transparence Subcommittee. He also serves on the Advisory
Board of the Verified Voting Foundation. He is a member of a
Professor Rivest is a member of the Center for Science of Information.
Professor Rivest grew up in Niskayuna, New York, where he attend public schools. He graduated from Niskayuna High School in 1965.
Professor Rivest received a B.A. in Mathematics from Yale University in 1969.
He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974; his research supervisor was Professor Robert Floyd. He also worked closely with Professor Donald Knuth, David Klarner, and Vasek Chvatal.
He was a post-doc at INRIA in Rocquencourt, France for the academic year 1973-74.