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2002 伦纳德·阿德曼

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Leonard M. Adleman

December 31, 1945 in San Francisco, California

BA, Mathematics (University of California, Berkley, 1968); PhD, Computer Science (University of California, Berkley, 1976).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mathematics (1979-1980 Associate Professor, 1977-1979 Assistant Professor); University of Southern California (1980 Associate Professor, 1983 Professor, 1985 Henry Salvatori Professor).

ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award (1996); IEEE Kobayashi Award for Computers and Communications (2000-joint with Rivest and Shamir); Distinguished Professor title University of Southern California (2000); ACM Turing Award (2002); Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006); member of the National Academy of Engineering (1996) and the National Academy of Sciences.

LEONARD (LEN) MAX ADLEMAN DL Author Profile link
United States – 2002
Together with Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir, for their ingenious contribution to making public-key cryptography useful in practice.

Professor Len Adleman had just finished a personal anecdote about the development of the RSA public-key cryptosystem and DNA computing. The roomful of University of Southern California Computer Science students took advantage of the casual atmosphere to pick the brain of one of the department’s most revered faculty members.

A student asked, "Given your past work, what is your current research project and objective?"

Len paused, "I am working on a new approach to Complex Analysis called Strata. I want to add a brick—even a small brick—to the wall of Mathematics."

"Isn't RSA already a brick in that wall?" the student continued.

Len reflected, "It is not close enough to the foundation where the bricks of Gauss, Riemann, and Euler lay."

Leonard Max Adleman was born December 31, 1945 in San Francisco, California, to a bank teller and an appliance salesman. Admitted to the University of California in Berkeley with the intention of becoming a chemist, he finally graduated with a BS in Mathematics in 1968. After a brief stint as a computer programmer, he returned to UC Berkeley. His concurrent interests in Mathematics and Computer Science ultimately led him to his Ph.D. thesis in 1976, Number-Theoretic Aspects of Computational Complexity, under the inspiring guidance of Manuel Blum, the recipient of the 1995 Turing Award.

Len quickly secured positions as an Assistant, then Associate, Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His collaboration with fellow Turing Awardees Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir led to the development of the RSA public-key cryptosystem and the 1978 publication of their seminal paper, "A Method for Obtaining Digital Signatures and Public-Key Cryptosystems” [1].

Adleman recounts his work with Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir to create the RSA cyptosystem. He begins by discussing the invention of public key cryptography by Diffie and Hellman.       
RSA, an acronym for Rivest, Shamir and Adleman, uses algorithmic number theory to provide an efficient realization of a public-key cryptosystem, a concept first envisioned theoretically by Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman and Ralph Merkle. RSA is now the most widely used encryption method, with applications throughout the Internet to secure on-line transactions. It has also inspired breakthrough work in both theoretical computer science and mathematics.

Algorithmic number theory, and in particular the problem of testing for prime numbers, has been a longtime research focus of Adleman. With Carl Pomerance and Robert Rumely, he developed an "almost" polynomial time deterministic primality testing algorithm. The paper [2] describing this Adleman-Pomerance-Rumely primality test appears to be the first paper published in the prestigious journal Annals of Mathematics on a topic in theoretical computer science.

Len is also associated with the creation of an early computer virus, demonstrated in 1983 by his student Fred Cohen, who credited Len for coining the term "computer virus" to describe the self-replicating programs.

Adleman discusses an early experiment in malicious software, run by his student Fred Cohen in 1983.       

Drawn to beautiful Southern California, Len joined the faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1980, where he is now the Henry Salvatori Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Molecular Biology. In 1987, he and his USC colleague Ming-Deh Huang described the first “Las Vegas” randomized algorithm for primality testing in a landmark paper titled "Recognizing Primes in Random Polynomial Time." [3] This result was the last major theoretical breakthrough in a long line of work before the current high point in primality testing, "PRIMES is in P" by Manindra Agrawal, Neeraj Kayal, and Nitin Saxena in 2002.

Len also worked on Fermat's Last Theorem, and in 1986, with colleagues Roger Heath-Brown and Etienne Fouvry, proved that the first case of the theorem holds for infinitely many primes [5] . This was a respectable result at the time, but became a footnote following Andrew Wiles famous proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem in 1995.

Adleman explains how his dissertation advisor, Manuel Blum, encouraged him to tackle Fermat’s last theorem.       

In the 1980's his research took an interdisciplinary turn, from computer viruses to biological ones. With David Wofsy of University of California at San Francisco, he developed a theory of CD4-cell depletion in Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) as a homeostatic mechanism failure, and published several papers on the topic.His professional interest in biology increased, and was further inspired by James Watson's book The Molecular Biology of the Gene. In a moment of clarity, he noticed the resemblance between the way the protein polymerase produces complementary strands of DNA, and the mechanism of the Turing machine. Len saw the biochemical processes of the cell as computation. Like a Turing machine that runs along a tape processing symbolic information, polymerase runs along a strand of DNA processing chemical information.

Adleman explains his decision to use coded DNA sequences to construct a molecular computing device.       
Great scientific breakthroughs sometimes arise from the realization that two seemingly unrelated fields are, in fact, related. In this regard, Len proved to be more than just a brilliant theoretician. By encoding a small instance of the NP-complete Hamiltonian Path problem in strands of DNA and then experimentally computing its solution, Len created what is probably the first computational device at a molecular scale. For this work [4] Len has been widely credited as the "Father of DNA Computing."

More recently, Len has returned to what he sees as the most beautiful of endeavors: mathematics. Along with students, he investigated analogies between chemistry and mathematics, and developed event systems as a mathematical version of the law of mass action. in chemistry. This led to further study in complex analysis, where he and his students are currently developing a theory of "Strata" to describe multi-valued analytic functions.

Len Adleman is a unique and talented interdisciplinary scholar. His accomplishments in multiple fields have been driven by remarkable insight, curiosity, and persistence. Len is an inspiring teacher from whom both authors of this essay had the good fortune to take multiple courses.

He is also an intriguing person when away from the academy. Unable to resist the allure of Hollywood, he served as a mathematical and cryptography consultant for the film Sneakers. He enjoys discussing Memes, the theory of information evolution developed by Richard Dawkins. He converses regularly about history, art, music and culture, and is a mesmerizing storyteller. Perhaps in preparation for lifting his brick into the wall of mathematics, he has whipped himself into physical shape as an amateur boxer who has been in the ring with the likes of ten-time world champion James Toney.

Authors: Joseph Bebel and Shang-Hua Teng

Leonard M. Adleman



麻省理工学院数学系(1979-1980年副教授,1977-1979年助理教授);南加州大学(1980年副教授,1983年教授,1985年Henry Salvatori教授)。


美国 - 2002年

Len Adleman教授刚刚讲完关于RSA公钥密码系统和DNA计算发展的个人轶事。一屋子的南加州大学计算机科学系的学生利用这种轻松的气氛,向该系最受人尊敬的教员之一请教。





Leonard Max Adleman于1945年12月31日出生在加利福尼亚的旧金山,父亲是一名银行出纳员和一名家电销售员。他被加州大学伯克利分校录取,打算成为一名化学家,最终于1968年毕业,获得数学学士学位。在做了短暂的计算机程序员之后,他回到了加州大学伯克利分校。他同时对数学和计算机科学感兴趣,最终在1995年图灵奖获得者曼纽尔-布卢姆的启发下,于1976年发表了博士论文《计算复杂性的数论方面》。


Adleman讲述了他与Ron Rivest和Adi Shamir创建RSA网络系统的工作。他首先讨论了Diffie和Hellman发明的公钥密码学。       
RSA是Rivest、Shamir和Adleman的首字母缩写,它使用算法数字理论来提供公钥密码系统的有效实现,这个概念是由Whitfield Diffie、Martin Hellman和Ralph Merkle首次在理论上设想的。RSA现在是最广泛使用的加密方法,在整个互联网上应用于确保在线交易。它还激发了理论计算机科学和数学方面的突破性工作。

算法数论,特别是检验素数的问题,一直是阿德尔曼的一个长期研究重点。他与Carl Pomerance和Robert Rumely合作,开发了一种 "几乎 "多项式时间的确定性素数检验算法。描述这个Adleman-Pomerance-Rumely首要性测试的论文[2]似乎是在著名的《数学年鉴》杂志上发表的第一篇关于理论计算机科学主题的论文。

莱恩还与早期计算机病毒的创造有关,该病毒在1983年由他的学生弗雷德-科恩演示,他认为是莱恩创造了 "计算机病毒 "一词来描述自我复制的程序。


被美丽的南加州所吸引,Len于1980年加入了南加州大学(USC)的教师队伍,他现在是Henry Salvatori的计算机科学教授和分子生物学教授。1987年,他和南加州大学的同事Ming-Deh Huang在一篇题为 "在随机多项式时间内识别素数 "的里程碑式的论文中描述了第一个用于素数测试的 "拉斯维加斯 "随机算法。[3] 这一结果是在2002年Manindra Agrawal, Neeraj Kayal和Nitin Saxena发表的 "PRIMES在P中 "这一原始性检验的高潮之前的一长串工作中的最后一个重大理论突破。

Len还研究了费马最后定理,并在1986年与同事Roger Heath-Brown和Etienne Fouvry合作,证明了该定理的第一种情况对无限多的素数成立 [5] 。这在当时是一个值得尊敬的结果,但在1995年安德鲁-怀尔斯(Andrew Wiles)对费马最后定理的著名证明之后,这成为一个注脚。


在20世纪80年代,他的研究出现了跨学科的转变,从计算机病毒到生物病毒。他与加州大学旧金山分校的大卫-沃夫西(David Wofsy)一起,提出了获得性免疫缺陷综合征(AIDS)中CD4细胞耗竭是一种平衡机制失灵的理论,并就此发表了几篇论文。他对生物学的专业兴趣增加,并受到詹姆斯-沃森(James Watson)的《基因的分子生物学》一书的进一步启发。在一个清晰的时刻,他注意到蛋白质聚合酶产生DNA互补链的方式与图灵机的机制有相似之处。莱恩把细胞的生化过程看作是计算过程。就像图灵机沿着磁带运行处理符号信息一样,聚合酶沿着DNA链运行处理化学信息。

伟大的科学突破有时产生于这样的认识:两个看似不相关的领域实际上是相关的。在这方面,莱恩被证明不仅仅是一位杰出的理论家。通过在DNA链中编码一个NP完备的哈密尔顿路径问题的小实例,然后通过实验计算其解决方案,Len创造了可能是第一个分子尺度的计算设备。由于这项工作[4],Len被广泛认为是 "DNA计算之父"。

最近,莱恩又回到了他认为最美好的事业:数学。他和学生一起研究了化学和数学之间的类比,并开发了事件系统作为化学中质量作用法则的数学版本。这导致了他在复杂分析方面的进一步研究,他和他的学生目前正在开发一个 "Strata "理论,以描述多值分析函数。


当离开学术界时,他也是一个耐人寻味的人。由于无法抵挡好莱坞的诱惑,他担任了电影制片人的数学和密码学顾问。他喜欢讨论Memes,由理查德-道金斯提出的信息进化理论。他经常谈论历史、艺术、音乐和文化,是一个令人着迷的说书人。也许是为了准备将他的砖头举到数学墙上,他把自己打造成一个业余拳击手,在拳击场上与十次世界冠军詹姆斯-托尼(James Toney)等人交过手。

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