Seminars & Colloquia

Michael Rabin

Computer Science, Harvard University

"The Eighth Commandment "

Monday October 25, 2004 04:00 PM
Location: 107H, Park Shop NCSU Historical Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Triangle Computer Science Distinguished Lecturer Series


Abstract: Piracy of intellectual property (IP) is a problem of monumental proportions. Software, computer games, digitized music, and increasingly digitized movies are almost freely pirated. The Internet and P2P networks make dissemination of pirated material easy and untraceable, to the detriment of the legal vendors/owners of the property. This state of affairs has greatly injured the music publishers, and movie studios are worried about a similar fate. There are two prevalent IP protection technologies. The first involves smart media such as DVDs that can't be copied. The second involves encryption of content and encapsulation of execution in protected systems. Neither works because once the protected content is captured in the clear it can be freely distributed. The second can seriously impinge on privacy.

We present a robust IP protection scheme based on intrinsic content identification. The system is so structured that unlike customary protection schemes, the end user's privacy with respect to the content she uses and how she uses it (even if she pirates it) is completely protected. Joint work with Dennis Shasha.

Short Bio: Michael Rabin is T.J. Watson Sr. Professor of CS at Harvard University. He got his Ph.D. from Princeton University, where he had his first academic appointment. He was Albert Einstein Professor of Mathematics at the Hebrew University, serving as its Academic Head from 1972 to 1975.

He has worked on automata theory, introducing with D. Scott the concept of non-deterministic computations, initiated abstract complexity theory, invented automata on infinite trees, demonstrated by numerous applications the efficacy of randomness in computations, and worked extensively in cryptography.

His awards include the ACM Turing Award, The IEEE Charles Babbage Award, The Harvey Prize for Science and Technology, and the Israel Prize in Computer Science, and the ACM Kanellakis Prize for theory and Practice. He was elected to five major Academies and holds five honorary degrees.

His research interests include complexity of computations, efficient algorithms, randomized algorithms, DNA to DNA Computing, parallel and distributed computation, computer security, and anti-piracy protection. He has created, with Y. Aumann and Y.Z. Ding, Hyper-Encryption, the first ever encryption scheme provably providing everlasting secrecy against a computationally unbounded adversary, now being implemented at Harvard.

Host: Jon Doyle, Computer Science Department, NCSU

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