digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Martin Edward Hellman
Martin Edward Hellman
Born (1945-10-02) October 2, 1945 (age 69)
New York
Nationality American
Fields Cryptography
Computer science
Electrical engineering
Institutions Stanford University
Alma mater New York University (BSc, 1966)
Stanford University (MS, 1967; PhD, 1969)
Thesis Learning with Finite Memory (1969)
Doctoral advisor Thomas Cover
Doctoral students Taher Elgamal
Known for Diffie–Hellman key exchange
Notable awards IEEE Centennial Medal (1984)
EFF Pioneer Award (1994)
Louis E. Levy Medal(1997)
Golden Jubilee Awards for Technological Innovation (1998)
Marconi Prize (2000)
National Academy of Engineering Member (2002)
Hamming Medal (2010)
Computer History Museum Fellow (2011) [1]

Martin Edward Hellman (born October 2, 1945) is an American cryptologist, and is best known for his invention of public key cryptography in cooperation with Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] Hellman is a long-time contributor to the computer privacy debate and is more recently known for promoting risk analysis studies on nuclear threats, including the NuclearRisk.org[9] website.

Early life[edit]

Hellman graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He went on to earn his Bachelor's degree from New York University in 1966, and at Stanford University he earned a Master's degree in 1967 and a Ph.D. in 1969,[10] all in electrical engineering.[11] From 1968–1969 he worked at IBM's Watson Research Center where he encountered Horst Feistel. From 1969–1971 he was an assistant professor at MIT. He joined Stanford in 1971 as a professor, serving until 1996 when he became Professor Emeritus.[11]

Public key cryptography[edit]

Hellman and Whitfield Diffie's paper New Directions in Cryptography was published in 1976. It introduced a radically new method of distributing cryptographic keys, which went far toward solving one of the fundamental problems of cryptography, key distribution. It has become known as Diffie–Hellman key exchange. The article also seems to have stimulated the almost immediate public development of a new class of encryption algorithms, the asymmetric key algorithms. Hellman and Whitfield Diffie were awarded the Marconi Fellowship and accompanying prize in 2000 for work on public-key cryptography and for helping make cryptography a legitimate area of academic research.[12]

Computer privacy debate[edit]

Hellman has been a long-time contributor to the computer privacy debate. He and Diffie were the most prominent critics of the short key size of the Data Encryption Standard in 1975. An audio recording survives of their review of DES at Stanford in 1976 with Dennis Branstad of NBS and representatives of the National Security Agency.[13] Their concern was well-founded: subsequent history has shown not only that NSA actively intervened with IBM and NBS to shorten the key size, but also that the short key size enabled exactly the kind of massively parallel key crackers that Hellman and Diffie sketched out, which when ultimately built outside the classified world, made it clear that DES was insecure and obsolete. In 2012, a $10,000 commercially available machine can recover a DES key in days. Hellman also served (1994–96) on the National Research Council's Committee to Study National Cryptographic Policy, whose main recommendations have since been implemented.

International security[edit]

Hellman has been active in researching international security since 1985.

Beyond War[edit]

Hellman was involved in the original Beyond War movement, serving as the principle editor for the "BEYOND WAR: A New Way of Thinking" booklet.[14]


In 1987, over 30 scholars came together to produce Russian and English editions of "Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking, Soviet and Western Scholars Issue a Challenge to Build a World Beyond War". Anatoly Gromyko and Martin Hellman were the chief editors of this book. The authors of this book examine questions such as: How can we overcome the inexorable forces leading toward a clash between the United States and the Soviet Union? How do we build a common vision for the future? How can we restructure our thinking to synchronize with the imperative of our modern world?,[15][16]

Defusing the nuclear threat[edit]

Martin's current project in International Security is to defuse the Nuclear threat. In particular, Hellman is studying the probabilities and risks associated with nuclear weapons and encouraging further international research in this area. His website NuclearRisk.org[9] has been endorsed by a number of prominent individuals including a former Director of the National Security Agency, Stanford's President Emeritus, and two Nobel Laureates. Martin is also a member of the Board of Directors for Daisy Alliance, an Atlanta based non-governmental organization seeking global security through nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament.

Awards and honors[edit]

In 1997 he was awarded The Franklin Institute's Louis E. Levy Medal,[17] in 1981 the IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award (together with Whitfield Diffie),[18] in 1998 a Golden Jubilee Award for Technological Innovation from the IEEE Information Theory Society,[19] and in 2010 he was awarded the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal.[20]

In 2011, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.[21]

Also in 2011, Hellman was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for his work, with Whitfield Diffie and Ralph Merkle, on public key cryptography."[22]


  1. ^ Martin Hellman 2011 Fellow
  2. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  3. ^ List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
  4. ^ Diffie, W.; Hellman, M. (1976). "New directions in cryptography". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 22 (6): 644–654. doi:10.1109/TIT.1976.1055638.  edit
  5. ^ Leung-Yan-Cheong, S.; Hellman, M. (1978). "The Gaussian wire-tap channel". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 24 (4): 451. doi:10.1109/TIT.1978.1055917.  edit
  6. ^ Karnin, E.; Greene, J.; Hellman, M. (1983). "On secret sharing systems". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 29: 35. doi:10.1109/TIT.1983.1056621.  edit
  7. ^ Merkle, R.; Hellman, M. (1978). "Hiding information and signatures in trapdoor knapsacks". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 24 (5): 525. doi:10.1109/TIT.1978.1055927.  edit
  8. ^ Pohlig, S.; Hellman, M. (1978). "An improved algorithm for computing logarithms over<tex>GF(p)</tex>and its cryptographic significance (Corresp.)". IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 24: 106. doi:10.1109/TIT.1978.1055817.  edit
  9. ^ a b NuclearRisk.org
  10. ^ Hellman, Martin (1969). Learning with Finite Memory (PhD thesis). Stanford University. 
  11. ^ a b Martin Hellman's webpage at Stanford University http://www-ee.stanford.edu/~hellman
  12. ^ Columbia University press release regarding Marconi Fellowship
  13. ^ "DES (Data Encryption Standard) Review at Stanford University". 1976. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  14. ^ Richard Rathbun, Rick Roney, Louise Smith, Donna Richeson, Don Fitton, Craig Ritchey, "BEYOND WAR: A New Way of Thinking", (Editors: Martin Hellman, Craig Barnes, Al Braun, Pat Chandler, Jack Li, Mac Lawrence, Tom Lindsay, Tom Osborne, Chris Rich, Nancy Ritchey, Karen Stevens and Judie Swope.) PDF available free online
  15. ^ Breakthrough website page
  16. ^ Anatoly Gromyko, Martin Hellman, Craig Barnes, Alexander Nikitin, Donald Fitton, Sergei Kapitza, Elena Loshchenkova, William McGlashan, Andrei Melville, Harold Sandler, Olivia Simantob, "Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking", Walker and Company, ISBN 0-8027-1026-3, ISBN 0-8027-1015-8 and published simultaneously in the Soviet Union by Progress Publishing Company, Moscow. Martin Hellman's Stanford website page, PDF online free
  17. ^ "Franklin Laureate Database – Louis E. Levy Medal Laureates". Franklin Institute. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  18. ^ "IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Golden Jubilee Awards for Technological Innovation". IEEE Information Theory Society. Retrieved July 14, 2011. 
  20. ^ "IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal Recipients". IEEE. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Meet the 2011 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees – Martin Hellman". National Inventors Hall of Fame. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Martin Hellman". Computer History Museum. Retrieved 2013-05-23. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Hellman — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
11342 videos foundNext > 

Martin Hellman: The Wisdom of Foolishness

Stanford Engineering Hero Lecture When Martin Hellman started working in cryptography in the early 1970s, his colleagues told him he was crazy to do so; he couldn't possibly compete with the...

Stanford Engineering Hero Martin Hellman on inventing cryptography

In the 1970s, Stanford engineer Martin Hellman and two colleagues risked their careers to introduce to the world public-key cryptography that today secures literally trillions of dollars in...

RSA 2012: Dr. Martin Hellman on Data Privacy and Security

While we were in San Francisco this year for RSA 2012 we spoke with Dr. Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University about data privacy and security.

Diffie Hellman Merkle US Inventors Hall of Fame

A two minute video profiling the invention of public key cryptography by Whit Diffie, Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle. The video was produced for and first shown at the 2011 US Inventors Hall...

Martin Hellman on An Intuitive Feeling

"An intuitive feeling ..." 4th in a video series to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of RSA Conference. Join us at RSA Conference 2011 in San Francisco from February 14-18, 2011. www.rsaconfer...

Martin Hellman at DISI 2007

Dr. Martin Hellman in the talk "A Fool's Errand: Inventing Public Key Cryptography". EUITT Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Dec 3, 2007.

On the Road at RSA 2011 - Video 12

Dr. Martin Hellman, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University , sits down with BT's Ben Rothke to talk about trends in security and expectations for RSA 2011.

Algoritmo Diffie -- Hellman

Exemplo em excel de como funciona o algortimo de criptografica Diffie Hellman, desenvolvido Whitfield Diffie, um matemático do MIT, junto com o criptógrafo Martin Hellman.

Soaring, Cryptography and Nuclear Weapons

Google Tech Talk May 7, 2009 ABSTRACT Presented by Martin Hellman Nuclear weapons are the elephant in the room that almost no one talks about. This presentation therefore approaches...

RSA Conference 2010 USA: The Cryptographers Panel 3/6

Clip 3/6 MODERATOR: Ari Juels, Chief Scientist and Director, RSA Laboratories PANELISTS: Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Ronald Rivest, Adi Shamir, Brian Snow Join the founders of...

11342 videos foundNext > 

172 news items


Wed, 01 Apr 2015 04:03:45 -0700

According to Martin Hellman, an emeritus professor at Stanford and adjunct fellow at the Federation of American Scientists who specialises in nuclear risk, the West hasn't properly caught on to Putin's Armageddon game. Try Newsweek for only $1.25 per ...
Huffington Post
Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:33:45 -0700

With Ukraine's effort to subdue the pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country faltering, it is understandable that its Prime Minister submitted a proposal to Parliament seeking NATO membership. What is surprising -- and dangerous -- is the ...
San Jose Mercury News
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:11:52 -0800

Formed in 1929, the Los Gatos DAR today is a nonprofit volunteer service organization that is made up of about 180 members. The group's next meeting is on April 6 when it will host cryptologist and Stanford professor Martin Hellman for a talk titled ...
Huffington Post
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:37:30 -0700

It has surprised and worried me that almost none of the mainstream media's coverage of the Ukrainian crisis has mentioned the nuclear dimension to the risk. If the West feels (as it currently does) that Russia is solely to blame, and Russia feels (as ...
Huffington Post
Mon, 04 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

The first Tonkin Gulf incident occurred exactly 50 years ago this week, on August 2, 1964. Because the Tonkin Gulf Resolution which it spawned became the legal basis for the Vietnam War, I expected this weekend's papers to be replete with remembrances ...


Wed, 01 Apr 2015 06:41:15 -0700

По словам Мартина Хеллмана (Martin Hellman), почетного профессора Стэнфордского университета, специализирующегося на ядерной безопасности, Запад неправильно схватил Путина на игре в Армагеддон. «Разыгрывая карту ядерного ...
Huffington Post
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:45:30 -0700

Professor Emeritus Martin Hellman serves on Stanford University's Electrical Engineering faculty and its Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and writes a popular blog ...

Center for Research on Globalization

Center for Research on Globalization
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 10:00:00 -0800

Now that President Obama's administration is giving itself the option to have “boots on the ground” in Iraq, there has never been a more important time to look at how we get sucked into unending wars. Professor Martin Hellman examines how it's been ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight