Martin E. Hellman is best known for his invention, with Diffie and Merkle, of public key cryptography, the technology that, among other uses, enables secure Internet transactions. It is used to transfer literally trillions of dollars every day.
His work has been recognized by a number of honors and awards, including election to the National Academy of Engineering, the Marconi International Fellowship, and the million dollar ACM Turing Award, often viewed as “the Nobel Prize of Computer Science.” More detailed information is available on his honors and awards, his university service, and his professional and civic service.
Martin has a deep interest in the ethics of technological development, and one of his current activities is the Rethinking National Security project. That approach has been endorsed by a number of prominent individuals including former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Adm. Bobby Inman and Stanford’s President Emeritus John Hennessy.
He and his wife Dorothie wrote a book, A New Map for Relationships: Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet.
During the 1980’s, Prof. Hellman helped develop a meaningful dialog between the Soviet and American scientific communities on how human thinking had to evolve for survival in the nuclear age. This effort culminated in his co-editing a book with Prof. Anatoly Gromyko of Moscow: Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking.
He received his B.E. from New York University in 1966, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1967 and 1969, all in Electrical Engineering.
He has authored over seventy technical papers (click for publication list), twelve US patents and a number of foreign equivalents.