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.
For his “fundamental contributions to the design and analysis of Boolean functions for cryptographic applications, and for sustained educational leadership”, Claude Carlet has been elected an IACR fellow, one of the highest honours in the field of cryptography.
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.
The workshop “Current and Future Projects of the Selmer Center” will take place in Granada, Spain from November 22 to November 27, 2021. Members and collaborators of the Selmer Center will convene to discuss current and future projects, open problems, and other relevant topics. More details can be found here.
The 6th International Workshop on Boolean Functions and their Applications (BFA 2021) successfully took place in Rosendal in the period September 6 – September 10. More information can be found on the webpage of the workshop.
On September 28, Nikolay Kaleyski defended his PhD thesis titled Towards a deeper understanding of APN functions and related longstanding problems. More information can be found here.
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.
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.
The George Boole International Prize for 2020 has been awarded to Sihem Mesnager, for her significant contributions to the theory of Boolean functions. Congratulations!
Claude Carlet’s comprehensive new monograph on the topic of i.a. cryptographic Boolean functions is published by Cambridge University Press. The book constitutes a significant expansion of Claude’s previous text on the topic, and aims to be an encyclopedic guide to the foundations and recent results in the area.