Leonard Max Adleman (born
December 31, 1945) is a theoretical computer scientist
and professor of computer science
and molecular biology at the
University of
Southern California. He is known for being a co-inventor of the
RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) cryptosystem in
1977, and of
DNA computing. RSA is in
widespread use in
security
applications, including
https.
Born in
California, Adleman grew up in San Francisco, and attended the University of
California, Berkeley, where he received his BA degree in mathematics in 1968 and his
Ph.D. degree in EECS in
1976.In 1994, his paper
Molecular Computation of
Solutions To Combinatorial Problems described the experimental
use of
DNA as a computational system. In it, he
solved a seven-node instance of the
Hamiltonian Graph problem, an
NP-complete problem similar to the
traveling salesman problem. While
the solution to a seven-node instance is
trivial, this paper is the first known
instance of the successful use of DNA to compute an
algorithm. DNA computing has been shown to have
potential as a means to solve several other large-scale
combinatorial search problems.
In 2002, he and his research group managed to solve a 'nontrivial'
problem using DNA computation. Specifically, they solved a
20-variable
3-SAT
problem having more than 1 million potential solutions. They did it
in a manner similar to the one Adleman used in his seminal 1994
paper. First, a mixture of DNA strands logically representative of
the problem's solution space was synthesized. This mixture was then
operated upon algorithmically using biochemical techniques to
winnow out the 'incorrect' strands, leaving behind only those
strands that 'satisfied' the problem. Analysis ofthe nucleotide
sequence of these remaining strands revealed 'correct' solutions to
the original problem.
For his contribution to the invention of the
RSA
cryptosystem, Adleman, along with
Ron
Rivest and
Adi Shamir, has been a
recipient of the 1996
Paris Kanellakis
Theory and Practice Award and the 2002
ACM Turing Award, often called the
Nobel Prize of Computer Science.
He is one of the original discoverers of the
Adleman-Pomerance-Rumely
primality test.
Fred Cohen, in his 1984 paper,
Experiments with Computer Viruses has credited Adleman
with coining the term "
virus".
He was also the mathematical consultant on the movie
Sneakers.
Adleman is also an amateur boxer and has sparred with
James Toney.
He is also widely referred to as the Father of DNA Computing.
See also
External links
References