Ronald Rivest


Information and Communication Technologies

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Information and Communication Technologies category goes, in this tenth edition, to Shafi Goldwasser, Silvio Micali, Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir for their “fundamental contributions to modern cryptology, an area of a tremendous impact on our everyday life,” in the words of the jury’s citation. “Their advanced crypto-protocols enable the safe and secure transmission of electronic data, ranging from e-mail to financial transactions. In addition, their work provides the underpinning for digital signatures, blockchains and crypto-currencies,” like Bitcoin.


Ronald Rivest (Schenectady, USA, 1947) holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Yale University and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. In 1974 he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is currently Institute Professor – the highest academic rank, held by fourteen of MIT’s over one thousand faculty members – in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Rivest is founder and currently co-leader with Shafi Goldwasser of the Cryptography and Information Security Group in the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is co-author of Introduction to Algorithms, a standard textbook in the subject area, and a past director of both the International Association for Cryptologic Research and the Financial Cryptography Association. He has founded three companies: RSA Data Security, Verisign – which came to be Internet’s leading encryption, certification and authentication authority – and Peppercoin, in partnership with Silvio Micali.