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Inventors Hall of Fame Announces Inductees

| Volume 26 |  Issue 1

Here is the list of this year's inductees.

1. Leonard Adleman - RSA Cryptography
2. Marvin Caruthers - Chemical Synthesis of DNAStan Honey - Sports Broadcast Graphic Enhancements
3. Warren S. Johnson (Posthumous) - Temperature Control
4. Howard S. Jones, Jr. (Posthumous) - Conformal Antennas
5. Sumita Mitra - Nanocomposite Dental Materials
6. Arogyaswami Paulraj - MIMO Wireless Technology
 

1. Leonard Adleman - RSA Cryptography

RSA Cryptography is the world’s most widely used public-key cryptography method for securing communication on the Internet. Instrumental to the growth of e-commerce, RSA is used in almost all Internet-based transactions to safeguard sensitive data such as credit card numbers.

Introduced in 1977 by MIT colleagues Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman, RSA—its name derived from the initials of their surnames—is a specific type of public-key cryptography, or PKC, innovated in 1976 by Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, and Ralph Merkle. Intrigued by their research, Rivest, with Shamir and Adleman, developed a cryptosystem to enable secure message encoding and decoding between communicating parties. As Rivest and Shamir worked to develop an unbreakable key system, Adleman tried to break each one, doing so 42 times before the trio achieved success.

Unlike previous methods requiring securely-exchanged keys to encrypt and decrypt messages, RSA provided a method for encryption and decryption without both parties needing a shared secret key. RSA could also mark messages with a digital signature, and allowed originators to create messages intelligible only to intended recipients; third parties intercepting such transmissions would find them indecipherable.

Adleman, a native of San Francisco, earned his B.A. in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he went on to earn his Ph.D. in computer science. A distinguished professor at the University of Southern California, Adleman is also known for his work in number theory and as the father of the field of DNA computation. He has received numerous awards, including the 2002 ACM Turing Award with Rivest and Shamir.

2. Marvin Caruthers - Chemical Synthesis of DNA

In the early 1980s, biochemist Marvin Caruthers and his team at the University of Colorado Boulder developed the methods for chemically synthesizing DNA, a breakthrough that dramatically advanced biological research and helped launch the biotechnology industry. Caruthers’ work transformed protein and DNA synthesis from highly specialized basic research into a widely used research, diagnostic, and forensic tool.

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