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Nigel Smart
Born (1967-10-22) 22 October 1967 (age 47)
United Kingdom
Residence United Kingdom
Fields Cryptography
Institutions University of Bristol
Alma mater
Doctoral advisor John Merriman
Known for ECC
Work on the ECDLP problem
Pairing-based cryptography
Efficient Secure multi-party computation
Fully Homomorphic Encryption

Nigel Smart is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol and a past holder of the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He is a cryptographer with expertise in the theory of cryptography and its application in practice.[1][2]


Smart received a BSc degree in mathematics from the University of Reading in 1989.[citation needed] He then obtained his PhD degree[citation needed] from the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1992; his thesis was titled The Computer Solutions of Diophantine Equations.


Smart proceeded to work as a research fellow at the University of Kent, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Cardiff University until 1995.[citation needed] From 1995 to 1997, he was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Kent, and then spent three years in industry at Hewlett-Packard from 1997 to 2000. Since 2000 he has been at the University of Bristol, and he heads the cryptology research group there.

Smart held a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2008–2013), and an ERC Advanced Grant (2011–2016). He is a director of the International Association of Cryptologic Research (2012–2014), and has been elected Vice President for the period 2014-2017.[3]


Prof. Smart is best known for his work in elliptic curve cryptography, especially work on the ECDLP.[4][5][6] He has also worked on pairing-based cryptography contributing a number of algorithms such as the SK-KEM[7] and the Ate-pairing[8]

Smart carries out research on a wide variety of topics in cryptography. Recently,[when?] he has been instrumental in the effort to make secure multiparty computation practical. A few of his works in this direction include.[9][10][11]

His work with Gentry and Halevi on performing the first large calculation using Fully Homomomorphic Encryption[12] won the IBM Pat Goldberg Best Paper Award for 2012.[13]

In addition to his three years at HP Laboratories, Smart was a founder of the startup Identum specialising in pairing based cryptography and identity based encryption. This was bought by Trend Micro in 2008.[14] In 2013 he formed, with Yehuda Lindell, Dyadic Security, a company focusing on deploying distributed cryptographic solutions based on multi-party computations.



  1. ^ Nigel Smart's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  2. ^ Nigel Smart's publications indexed by Google Scholar, a free service provided by Google
  3. ^ "IACR Election 2013 - List of Candidates and Propositions". Iacr.org. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  4. ^ S. D. Galbraith and N. P. Smart, A cryptographic application of the Weil descent, Cryptography and Coding, 1999.
  5. ^ P. Gaudry, F. Hess, and N. P. Smart, Constructive and destructive facets of Weil descent on elliptic curves, Hewlett Packard Laboratories Technical Report, 2000.
  6. ^ N. Smart, The discrete logarithm problem on elliptic curves of trace one, Journal of Cryptology, Volume 12, 1999.
  7. ^ Barbosa et. al, SK-KEM: An Identity-Based KEM
  8. ^ F. Hess, N. Smart, F. Vercauteren. The Eta-pairing revisited. In IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. 52(10), p. 4595-4602, 2006.
  9. ^ B. Pinkas, T. Schneider, N. P. Smart and S. C. Williams. Secure two-party computation is practical, ASIACRYPT 2009
  10. ^ I. Damgard, V. Pastro, N. P. Smart, and S. Zakarias. Multiparty computation from somewhat homomorphic encryption, CRYPTO 2012.
  11. ^ I. Damgard, M. Keller, E. Larraia, C. Miles and N. P. Smart. Implementing AES via an Actively/Covertly Secure Dishonest-Majority MPC Protocol, SCN 2012.
  12. ^ C. Gentry, S. Halevi and N. P. Smart. Homomorphic Evaluation of the AES Circuit CRYPTO 2012.
  13. ^ "Pat Goldberg Memorial 2012 Best Papers in CS, EE and Math - IBM". Researcher.watson.ibm.com. 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 
  14. ^ "Trend Micro buys into encryption with Identum purchase | News". Geek.com. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 

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