Martin Hellman

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Martin E. Hellman
Martin E. Hellman

Martin E. Hellman was born in New York, NY on October 2, 1945. He received his B.E. from New York University in 1966, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967 and 1969, all in Electrical Engineering.

Prof. Hellman was at IBM's Watson Research Center from 1968-69 and an Assistant Professor of EE at MIT from 1969-71. Returning to Stanford in 1971, he served on the regular faculty until becoming Professor Emeritus in 1996. He has authored over 60 technical papers, 6 US, and a number of corresponding foreign patents.

Hellman is best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of Public-key Cryptography. In addition to many other uses, this technology forms the basis for secure transactions on the Internet. He has also been a long-time contributor to the computer privacy debate, starting with the issue of DES key size in 1975 and culminating with service (1994-96) on the National Research Council's Committee to Study National Cryptographic Policy, many of whose recommendations have since been implemented. More detailed information is available on his honors and awards, his university service, and his professional and civic service.

Prof. Hellman also has a deep interest in the ethics of technological development. With Prof. Anatoly Gromyko of Moscow, he co-edited Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking, a book published simultaneously in Russian and English in 1987 during the rapid change in Soviet-American relations. He also worked to develop an environment within the university within which students of diverse backgrounds could function to the best of their ability. This work was recognized by four teaching awards, including three from minority student organizations.

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