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MIT Crypto Experts Win 2012 Turing Award

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the congratulations-to-all dept.

Encryption 32

alphadogg writes "A pair of MIT professors and security researchers whose work paved the way for modern cryptography have been named winners of the 2012 A.M. Turing Award, also known as the 'Nobel Prize in Computing.' Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and Silvio Micali, the MIT Ford Professor of Engineering, are recipients of the award, which will be formally presented by the Association for Computing Machinery on June 15 in San Francisco. According to the ACM: 'By formalizing the concept that cryptographic security had to be computational rather than absolute, they created mathematical structures that turned cryptography from an art into a science.' Goldwasser and Micali will split a $250K prize."

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Not good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164459)

a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel

That means that another $250,000 is going to the genocidal occupation. Free Palestine from the river to the sea!

Re:Not good (0)

ButchDeLoria (2772751) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164723)

Don't listen to this fraud, good goyim. Support Israel by buying Jewgle and Microshaft shares, and quality Made-in-China products.

formerly presented (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164641)

was it formally presented at that time?

Sponsorship (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43164685)

The RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering, the Ford Professor of Engineering. Do universities really need money so badly that they have to sell advertising in their faculty position names?

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164947)

While this is upsetting at least they haven't gotten to the point of having a Wal-Mart Oncology Department.

Re:Sponsorship (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165103)

While this is upsetting at least they haven't gotten to the point of having a Wal-Mart Oncology Department.

It's going to be the Phillip-Morris Department of Oncology. And I hear they are going to discover that cigarettes don't cause cancer after all, it turns out that breathing is the problem.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43172697)

my alma matter had the dupont school of polymer science, so its not a stretch.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43167369)

While this is upsetting at least they haven't gotten to the point of having a Wal-Mart Oncology Department.

Or a Head On endochrinology department.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43164953)

Seriously, did you ever sit down, multiply (tuition X students), and think about whether that yields enough money to run a university? If you think it does, you are so far off it isn't even funny.

Re:Sponsorship (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165053)

Seriously, did you ever sit down, multiply (tuition X students), and think about whether that yields enough money to run a university? If you think it does, you are so far off it isn't even funny.

I went to a school that depends heavily on research grants, yet they haven't named a single professor after a corporation.

It seems that it would get in the way of educational integrity..."Ford Professor of Electrical Engineering finds dangerous flaw in Chevy Volt, assures us that the Ford Ampere has no such problems, and our Energizer Professor of Batteries finds that the Duracell batteries used in the Chevy are substandard".

Re:Sponsorship (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43166037)

These are all started as gifts. Big company gives university megabucks as a gift so that they can fund a professor that deals in an area of interest to the donor (ie, RSA funds cryptography type research). It's not advertisement because the goal is not to turn the students/faculty into customers, otherwise you'd be seeing plenty of endowed chairs at junior colleges.

Re:Sponsorship (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165065)

Right..... Yet the friggin' USPS is going, going, gone legendarily broke with all that ad space on the side of how many million vehicles?

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43165157)

So how much does it cost to run a university? Tuition * students at MIT is over $500 million a year...

My point in all its glory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43166845)

(I'm the AC from above.)

I see that MIT has about (rounding) a thousand professors, and 700 other instructor types.

Suppose average professor salary is 150K (I made this number up. Use 100K if you want, which is too low.) Add payroll taxes, benefits, retirement, etc., and the cost per professor jumps to what, 200-250K per year? Well, there's almost half of your 500M, and I didn't even pay the instructors yet.

Oh, you want Administrators? Secretaries? The buildings maintain themselves? No electricity bill? Computers? Infrastructure? Heck, I didn't even get to the natural science labs yet. I just hope they don't want a new building. (A new buildings can cost nine figures, by the way.)

Seriously, I hope this (incomplete) list shows my point in all its glory. It is not close.

And now for the icing on the cake. Check it out. Your 500M wouldn't cover any single one of their biggest three categories:
http://web.mit.edu/facts/financial.html

Re:My point in all its glory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43168187)

Professors are payed to do research, and are thus paid from funding. If professors can't find funding, you bet they'll be fired quickly.

Re:Sponsorship (3, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165169)

You do realise that the practice of naming a chair after the sponsor goes back at least 400 years [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43165579)

The first one I thought of was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, est 1663 and held by Newton, Babbage, Direc and Hawking. Named after Henry Lucas MP, who left Cambridge a substantial bequest in his will to be used for exactly that purpose.

There's nothing wrong with it, so long as the selection isn't influenced by the funder (other than by setting down initial criteria), and that the bequest is in perptuity. Far more worrying is active interference in research that is increasingly common in many fields by grants and funds with significant strings attached. If a company wants to support an institution then great, but if it's being spun as a gift then there shouldn't be any expectation of quid pro quo.

Re:Sponsorship (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43166053)

You think there is quid pro quo in the naming of these two professors?

Re:Sponsorship (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year and a half ago | (#43170839)

Lots of crappy ideas go back that far.

Paying 4 Sponsorship is even further out than that (2)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165563)

There's also a Mitsubishi professor, and all other kinds of corporate sponsorships of "Endowed Chairs" at M.I.T. and other institutions (well endowed chairs =?= phallically-enhanced furniture ?). It's rather silly to see, but money talks. Even the Media Lab professors are all "titled chairs", e.g. : [slashdot.org]
He is currently the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.

Over in merry olde Englande, that Hawkins guy is "Lucasian Professor of Physics", a title once held by Isaac Newton. So that seems more "honourable" (I bow to their excess vowel-inventory by including the extra british "u" in their spelling). It seems like corporations can publish advertising by "sponsoring endowed chairs", actually funding the construction of buildings, or paying enough to get their name on pre-existing buildings or departments.
.
Look at how David Geffen got his name on UCLA's theater department and theater across the way and medical center, and Ronald Reagan got his name on some of the clinical medical buildings at UCLA.
.
Captialism and selling out of already paid for buildings to tout fake sponsorship. MIT and Harvard have the two largest endowments of university systems in the USA, yet neither can resist the allure of extra funding when all they have to do is give up "naming rights" and alittle piece of their prestige and honor. Sic gloria transit mundi

Obligatory /. pedantry (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year and a half ago | (#43168905)

Hawking is a former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. The chair is currently held by Michael Green.

Re:Obligatory /. pedantry (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43177421)

Good grief, how did I get it so wrong!! Of course it should have been correct in the first place. I had been reading about the guy who did graffiti for the PalmPilot, so "Hawkins" with an "s" was in my mind, and the other part Physics/Math I screwed up. That he formerly held the chair was not even known by me. The other guys not quite as famous, eh? ;>)

Re:Sponsorship (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#43165981)

The RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering, the Ford Professor of Engineering. Do universities really need money so badly that they have to sell advertising in their faculty position names?

Uhm, endowed positions have been around at universities for, what, a few hundred years at least???

Re:Sponsorship (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year and a half ago | (#43166005)

Yes they do.

Many of these named chairs aren't really advertisements but endowments. It's not like naming a building, in that you still have to name a worthy professor to grant the honor to, and the person making the endowment sometimes has no choice in which professor gets chosen. It would be wonderful if wealthy institutions could endow professorships while remaining anonymous, but that does not mean that non-anonymous stops being a gift and becomes an advert instead.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43167331)

the Ford Professor of Engineering. Do universities really need money so badly that they have to sell advertising in their faculty position names?

Because quality is job one.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43167423)

I once interviewed with RSA for an engineering job. I thought it might be an interesting mix of math and software engineering. But apparently they kept all the mathematicians and theory people in the basement, so this was the product team I was talking to. Man, talk about Dilbert's boss, these people were clueless, preaching about project methodology that sounded straight from the Agile and Extreme Programming seminars. I couldn't wait to get out of there.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43168105)

Don't get your knickers in a bunch. This is done for the greater good of science.

MIT has a Wright Brothers Wind-Tunnel [mit.edu] , funded in part by... Curtiss-Wright, the airplane company partly founded by the Wright Brothers. It was created to promote the development of aerospace. Not to cover up the failings of the aerospace industry. When you create as much impact on an industry as a Ford, a Wright, or and RSA, you can give back to society and expect a bit of advertising in perpetuity in return. They're already immortals.

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43168161)

As they say: "Only in America".

Re:Sponsorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43170303)

I just noticed this fortune at the bottom of the page:

An idealist is one who helps the other fellow to make a profit. -- Henry Ford

I'm sure its relevant somehow.

Nonsense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43165879)

Anyone else thing it looks bizarrely like this article covered by Slashdot, but trained using algorithm theory instead of math:
http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/10/19/1256216/randomly-generated-math-article-accepted-by-open-access-journal

Re:Nonsense (1)

cryptizard (2629853) | about a year and a half ago | (#43166701)

What are you talking about?

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43166939)

Trolling; that's what's being discussed here.

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