Zhejiang Lab

Turing Award Laureate Professor Whitfield Diffie Joined Zhejiang Lab and Zhejiang University

In the morning of 5 July, an inauguration ceremony was held at Zhejiang University Zijingang Campus to welcome Professor Whitfield Diffie, who won the Turing Award in 2015. Professor Whitfield Diffie joined Zhejiang Lab and Zhejiang University as a dual employment expert, and would carry out researches in the lab, help the lab to recruit more talented people from overseas and serve as an honorary director of Zhejiang University Cyberspace Security Research Center.

Wu Chaohui, president of Zhejiang University, delivered a speech to welcome Professor Diffie and pinned a university badge on him. Academician Wu and Professor Diffie together unveiled the name board of Zhejiang University Cyberspace Security Research Center. Zhu Shiqiang, director of Zhejiang Lab, presented the Zhejiang Lab badge to Professor Diffie and delivered a speech.

Wu said in his speech that Professor Diffie joining the university and Zhejiang Lab marked a significant step in the university’s efforts to introduce high level talents, would no doubt facilitate the development of the Cyberspace Security Research Center, would be significantly helpful to related researches and would benefit the research ability and reputation of the center.

Zhu said, Professor Diffie is the first top level scientist Zhejiang Lab and Zhejiang University have ever introduced; Professor Diffie will not only bring new thoughts and new knowledge but also bring more talents in the cyber security area. Afterwards, Zhejiang Lab and Zhejiang University will maintain a close cooperation to explore the dual employment mechanism, build up a talent introduction network and work together to attract high level talents from home and abroad to take advantage of the talent accumulation effect.

After the ceremony, Professor Diffie gave a lecture titled The History from Cryptography to Blockchain.

Ubiquitous information security, a major research area of Zhejiang Lab, highly overlaps with the research interests of Professor Diffie. As a dual employment expert at Zhejiang Lab, Professor Diffie will give regular seminars, invite top level researchers to the lab and recommend cyber security talents from overseas. In the meanwhile, according to the research targets of the lab, Professor Diffie will lead major cyber security research programs to help the lab to win more national level programs, platforms and resources.

Professor Whitfield Diffie is a legendary leading figure in cryptography and cyber security. He co-authored the public key cryptography algorithm and digital signature system, and the first ever public key based key exchange system, Diffie-Hellman key exchange, is named after him. Public key cryptography is the fundamental core algorithm for modern cryptography, and together with digital signing, they make up the foundation of the current cryptography system and security protocol. It’s because of his foundational contribution to cyber security research that he won the highest award in the computer science world, the Turing award, also known as the Computer Science Nobel prize. Professor Diffie is also a much renowned mathematician, computer scientist and author. He has won many honors and awards. For example, he was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and awarded IEEE Hamming Medal and Franklin Institute's Louis E. Levy Medal. For decades, Professor Diffie has been leading the latest developments in cyber security. The Cryptic Lab under his guidance is working on some major challenges facing the most cutting-edge area of cyber security, the blockchain.