Professor Vincent Rijmen wins the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography 2023

The Levchin prize honors major innovations in cryptography that have had a significant impact on the practice of cryptography and its use in real-world systems. The Belgian Prof. Vincent Rijmen received on Monday March 27th the 2023 Levchin prize for his many contributions to the field. He is known in the first place as designer of Rijndael, which was elected as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in 2000. Nowadays, AES is used worldwide to secure the Internet, WiFi, communication via cell phones, smartcards, payments, etc. This is the reason why all modern PC processors include special circuitry to accelerate AES. 

Prof. Rijmen was involved in several other cryptographic developments that are relevant in real-world systems. He contributed to a mechanism used by the Galileo satellites to secure their navigation signals against hackers and foreign services. He invented the Threshold Implementation (TI) method that is used by large manufacturers like NXP to secure their smartcards.

An important contribution at the academic level is the book on Rijndael that he wrote with his colleague. Thousands of researchers and developers all over the world learn from this book the principles of modern cryptographic design.

Prof. Rijmen accepts this award as an encouragement to continue his work on the development of a real-cryptography world, where citizens can rest assured that they are in control of their data and that their “smart” devices are protected against criminal hackers.

Vincent Rijmen is full professor with KU Leuven, Belgium and adjunct professor with University of Bergen, Norway.

Diana Davidova awarded Emil Artin Junior Prize

Dr. Diana Davidova has been awarded the Emil Artin Junior Prize for her paper “Relation between o-equivalence and EA-equivalence for Niho bent functions” (joint work with L. Budaghyan, C. Carlet, T. Helleseth, F. Ihringer and T. Penttila).

The Emil Artin Junior Prize is presented annually to a former student of an Armenian university, who is under the age of thirty-five, for outstanding contributions in algebra, geometry, topology, and number theory.

Thor Martinsen to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award for visiting the Selmer Center

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Thor Martinsen, an applied mathematics professor, has become the first Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Permanent Military Professor (PMP) to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award that will allow him to visit the Selmer Center at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway and collaborate on cryptographic Boolean functions research during the 2021-2022 academic year.


The BoolTI project under Lilya Budaghyan

BoolTI is the newest project at the Selmer center, with Lilya Budaghyan as the PI and a budget of 10.5 MNOK for the period 2021-2024. Other key members are Claude Carlet, George Petrides, and Vincent Rijmen.

Cryptographic ciphers serve the very important function of securing our every day communication and data against unauthorised access. They are in use everywhere: web-browsers, mobile phones, payment cards, tv-decoders, smart cards, etc. The fact that more and more of them are now run in embedded devices makes the rather recent side channel attacks (SCA) a huge threat: unwanted information leakage during the execution of the algorithms could potentially compromise their security. The project will study Boolean functions used as building blocks in cryptographic ciphers in order to find ways to prevent SCA.