Ronald L. Rivest

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Ronald L. Rivest (center) with Alan Sherman (left) and David Chaum (right), 2007

Ronald Linn Rivest (born May 6, 1947 in Schenectady , New York ) is an American mathematician and cryptologist . Together with Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman , he is one of the inventors of the RSA cryptosystem and Turing Prize winner in 2002.


In 1969 Rivest graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree . Five years later, Rivest completed his PhD at Stanford University in California . Rivest is currently (2009) Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

In addition to RSA, Rivest developed other ciphers . These have the first letter of his first name and are called Ron's Code (or Rivest Cipher ) 2 to 6 ( RC2 , RC4 , RC5 and RC6 ). These are both stream and block ciphers . Rivest also participated in the development of the MD2 , MD4 , MD5 and MD6 hash algorithms .

In 1998 he introduced Chaffing and Winnowing, a confidentiality procedure for data communication that works without data encryption .

Rivest is one of the three founders of RSA Security , along with Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman . He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (1990), the National Academy of Sciences (2004) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993). He is an honorary doctor of the La Sapienza University in Rome (2002), the Université catholique de Louvain (2008) and the University of Waterloo (2014). In 1996 he received the Paris Kanellakis Prize and in 2017 the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award . In 2018 Rivest was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame .


  • With Thomas Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson : Introduction to Algorithms , 1990, MIT Press and McGraw Hill, 3rd edition with Clifford Stein 2009

Web links

Commons : Ron Rivest  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files