Dr. Whitfield Diffie is best known for his discovery of the concepts of public key cryptography and digital signatures; which he developed along with Stanford University Electrical Engineering Professor Martin Hellman. Public key cryptography, which revolutionized not only cryptography but also the cryptographic community, now underlies the security of internet commerce.
Diffie is winner of the 2015 Turing Award, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Computing. Among his many other honors, Diffie is also an elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society, a IEEE Hamming Medal winner, a Fellow of the Computer History Museum, a Marconi Foundation Fellow and winner of the Franklin Institute’s Louis E Levy Medal.
Diffie received a B.S. in Mathematics from M.I.T. He also holds both an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and a Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Diffie is also the co-author with Prof. Susan Landau, of the University of Massachusetts, of the book ‘Privacy on the Line: The politics of wiretapping and encryption’, which has won the Donald McGannon Award for Social and Ethical Relevance in Communications Policy Research and the IEEE-USA award for Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding of the Profession.