Cryptography: From ancient times to a post-quantum age

Stelson Lecture Series
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 18:00
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Klaus Lecture Auditorium 1443
Brown University
How is it possible to send encrypted information across an insecure channel (like the internet) so that only the intended recipient can decode it, without sharing the secret key in advance? In 1976, well before this question arose, a new mathematical theory of encryption (public-key cryptography) was invented by Diffie and Hellman, which made digital commerce and finance possible. The technology advances of the last twenty years bring new and urgent problems, including the need to compute on encrypted data in the cloud and to have cryptography that can withstand the speed-ups of quantum computers. In this lecture, we will discuss some of the history of cryptography, as well as some of the latest ideas in "lattice" cryptography which appear to be quantum resistant and efficient.