Cryptography: From Ancient Times to a Post-Quantum Age

School of Mathematics' 2018 Stelson Lecture, by Jill C. Pipher, 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) invented by Diffie and Hellman made digital commerce and finance possible. The technology advances of the last 20 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, Jill Pipher will discuss some of the history of cryptography and some of the latest ideas in "lattice" cryptography which, appear to be quantum resistant and efficient 


About the Speaker

Jill C. Pipher is Vice President for Research and Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor of Mathematics at Brown University. 

She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the president-elect of the American Mathematical Society and the first director of the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research.

Pipher taught at the University of Chicago before taking a position at Brown, where she served as chair of the Mathematics Department from 2005 to 2008.

Her research areas are harmonic analysis, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations, and cryptography. She has published more than 50 research articles and has coauthored a textbook on cryptography. 

Jill Pipher will deliver a colloquium on "Non-Smooth Boundary Value Problems" on Friday, March 2, 2018, 11 AM, in Room 006, Skiles Building, 686 Cherry St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.

About the Stelson Lecture Series
The series is made possible by an endowment created in 1988 by Thomas Stelson in honor of his father, Hugh Stelson. Thomas Stelson was a distinguished civil engineer who served Georgia Tech in high leadership positions from 1971 to 1990. Hugh Stelson was a mathematician who worked on problems related to interest rates, annuities, and numerical analysis. Lecturers invited for this series are first-rate mathematicians who are gifted speakers. Stelson lecturers give a public lecture for a general audience, as well as a colloquium for mathematicians and experts in related disciplines.   


Event Details


  • Thursday, March 1, 2018
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location: Room 1443, Klaus Advanced Computing Building, 266 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30332

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