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Public Key Cryptography: Computation, cash and John Nash

Public Key Cryptography: Computation, cash and John Nash

Public key cryptography has many applications in information security, such as secure internet shopping, digital signatures and secure automatic software updates.

Public key cryptography has many applications in information security, such as secure internet shopping, digital signatures and secure automatic software updates.

In the third of four lectures in the University of Auckland Gibbons Lecture Series, Associate Professor Steven Galbraith discusses how online security can be enhanced by the use of hard computational problems from mathematics.

The lecture will look at how digital signatures have 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.

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.

Lecture details: 6pm (for a 6.30pm start) Thursday 8 May, Room OGGB3/260-092, Level-0, Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland, Grafton Rd. Public parking is available in the basement of the Owen G Glenn Building at 12 Grafton Rd.

The Gibbons Public Lecture series is held annually and open to the public. Entry is free. The lectures in this series will be streamed live.

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