Ronald L. Rivest: Biographical Information

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 served 2004--2009 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 Transparency Subcommittee. He also serves on the Board of the Verified Voting Foundation. He is a member of a Scantegrity team developing and testing voting systems that are verifiable ``end-to-end.''

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.

Professional Societies

Professor Rivest is a member of the following professional societies:


Professor Rivest has received the following awards:
- BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award
- National Inventors Hall of Fame
- EVN Award for Election Integrity Research Excellence
- EPIC Champions of Freedom Award
- EFF Pioneer Award (as co-author of ``Keys Under Doormats'' paper)
- 2015 JD Falk Award from the Messaging Malware Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG) (as co-author of ``Keys Under Doormats'' report)
- ETH Zurich ABZ Platinum Gold Medal for Computer Science and Computer Science Education
- ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) Hall of Fame Award
- Doctorate of Mathematics (honoris causa), University of Waterloo
- 2013-14 HKN (Beta Theta Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu) Teaching Award
- Listed in 35 Best Computer Security Professors of 2013
- National Cyber Security Hall of Fame Award
- RSA 2011 Conference Lifetime Achievement Award (with A. Shamir and L. Adleman)
- Killian Faculty Achievement Award from MIT
- NEC C&C Prize (with A. Shamir and L. Adleman)
- An honorary doctorate (the doctorat honoris causa) from the Louvain School of Engineering at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL).
- Burgess and Elizabeth Jamieson Award from MIT EECS Dept.
- Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference "Distinguished Innovator" award
- MITX Lifetime Achievement Award
- Marconi Prize
- the 2002 ACM Turing Award (with A. Shamir and L. Adleman)
- Laurea Honoris Causa, University of Rome La Sapienza
- IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award (with A. Shamir and L. Adleman)
- Secure Computing Lifetime Achievement Award (with A. Shamir and L. Adleman)
- ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award
- National Computer Systems Security Award
- AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science)

Advisory Boards

Professor Rivest serves on the following advisory boards.
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