Text Box: Department of Computer Science at Cornell University
Text Box: Text Box: The Salton




Text Box: While running an election sounds simple, it is in fact extremely challenging. Not only are there millions of voters to be authenticated and millions of votes to be carefully collected, counted, and stored, there are now millions of "voting machines" containing millions of lines of code to be evaluated for security vulnerabilities.  Moreover, voting systems have a unique requirement: the voter must not be given a "receipt" that would allow them to prove how they voted to someone else---otherwise the voter could be coerced or bribed into voting a certain way.  This lack of receipts makes the design of secure voting system much more challenging than, say, the security of banking systems (where receipts are the norm).

We discuss some of the recent trends and innovations in voting systems, as well as some of the new requirements being placed upon voting systems in the U.S., and describe some promising directions for resolving the conflicts inherent in voting system requirements, including some approaches based on cryptography.
Text Box:                The      
                Lecture Series           
Text Box: Thursday
January 29, 2009
Text Box: 4:15 pm
B17 Upson Hall
Reception - 4th Floor Atrium at 3:45pm

Ronald Rivest

Viterbi Professor of Computer Science

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Rivest is the Viterbi Professor of Computer Science in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is a member of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), a member of the lab's Theory of Computation Group and is a leader of its Cryptography and Information Security Group. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from Yale University in 1969, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. Professor Rivest has research interests in cryptography, computer and network security, voting systems, and algorithms.

Professor Rivest is a co-inventor of the RSA public-key cryptosystem. He has extensive experience in cryptographic design and cryptanalysis, and has published numerous papers in these areas. He has served as a Director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the organizing body for the Eurocrypt and Crypto conferences, and as a Director of the Financial Cryptography Association. He is also a

founder of RSA Data Security and of Verisign.

Professor Rivest is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the International Association for Cryptographic Research, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is also on the Advisory Board for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Professor Rivest has won numerous awards. Together with Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, he has been awarded the 2000 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award and the Secure Computing Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also received, together with Shamir and Adleman, the 2002 ACM Turing Award. Most recently he was a recipient of the Marconi Award.

Most recently, Professor Rivest has served on the U.S. Technical Guidelines Development Committee, which has drafted proposed standards for certifying voting system in the U.S.

Text Box: Security of Voting Systems

Gerard Salton (1927- 1995) A towering figure in the field of information retrieval, Gerard Salton synthesized ideas from mathematics, statistics, and natural language processing to create a scientific basis for extracting semantics from word frequency. The impact of his contributions is profound - five textbooks, over 150 research papers, and dozens of Ph.D. students. The modern computer science and information science research scene, with its terabyte databases, Web, and related technologies, owes a great deal to Gerry's pioneering efforts.


This lecture series honors our former colleague with speakers who similarly are innovators in their fields.