Jan 28, 2009 · 7:30 PM
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Ralph Merkle, Ph.D., will talk about the field of Cryonics.
Merkle graduated from Livermore High School in 1970 and proceeded to study Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, obtaining his B.A. in 1974, and his M.S. in 1977. In 1979, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, with a thesis titled Secrecy, authentication and public key systems. He was a distinguished professor in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
In addition to his work at Georgia Tech, Merkle is also a director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, of Arizona. In industry, Ralph C. Merkle was the manager of compiler development at Elxsi from 1980. In 1988, he became a research scientist at Xerox PARC, until 1999. Subsequently he worked as a nanotechnology theorist for Zyvex, returning to academia in 2003 as a Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech.
Whitfield Diffie has described Merkle as "possibly the single most inventive character in the public-key saga." Merkle devised an early scheme for communication over an insecure channel: Merkle's Puzzles. He also co-invented the Merkle-Hellman public key cryptosystem, the Merkle-Damgård construction, and invented Merkle trees. While at Xerox PARC, Merkle designed the Khufu and Khafre block ciphers, and the Snefru hash function.
You can read more about Dr. Merkle's background at: