Past Meetup

Papers We Love Belfast #5 - Knuth, Crypto and more!

This Meetup is past

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To mark our first year of running these events in Belfast, we have a bumper multiple speaker event! This time we're very pleased to welcome Keith Maxwell presenting "A Literal Program (" and Russell Matbouli presenting "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public Key Cryptosystems (". We'll also have a short presentation from Paddy Carey reporting back from his time at PWLConf in St. Louis!

A Literal Program

Last month‘s column introduced Don Knuth’s style of “Literate Programming” and his WEB system for building programs that are works of literature. This column presents a literate program by Knuth (its origins are sketched in last month‘s column) and, as befits literature, a review. So without further ado, here is Knuth’s program, retypeset in Communications style.

A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems

An encryption method is presented with the novel property that publicly revealing an encryption key does not thereby reveal the corresponding decryption key. This has two important consequences: 1. Couriers or other secure means are not needed to transmit keys, since a message can be enciphered using an encryption key publicly revealed by the intended recipient. Only he can decipher the message, since only he knows the corresponding decryption key. 2. A message can be “signed” using a privately held decryption key. Anyone can verify this signature using the corresponding publicly revealed encryption key. Signatures cannot be forged, and a signer cannot later deny the validity of his signature. This has obvious applications in “electronic mail” and “electronic funds transfer” systems.


Doors open at 6.30 pm and the presentation will begin at 7 pm. There will be some food (incl vegan options), beers and lemonade before/during.

After the paper presentations, we will open up the floor to discussion and questions. We hope that you'll read the papers before the meetup, but don't stress if you can't. If you have any questions, thoughts, or related information, feel free to twitter (, or add to the discussion on this event's thread.

Never read a paper before? Try this ([masked]-advice-on-reading-academic-papers.html) or this ( to help you get started :)

Note that by RSVPing to this event you are agreeing to follow our Code of Conduct (