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Don Coppersmith (born c. 1950) is a cryptographer and mathematician. He was involved in the design of the Data Encryption Standard block cipher at IBM, particularly the design of the S-boxes, strengthening them against differential cryptanalysis.[1] He is also the discoverer of the quantum Fourier transform.[2] He has also worked on algorithms for computing discrete logarithms, the cryptanalysis of RSA, methods for rapid matrix multiplication (see Coppersmith–Winograd algorithm) and IBM's MARS cipher. Don is also a co-designer of the SEAL and Scream ciphers.

Don Coppersmith
Bornc. 1950
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., 1972)
Harvard University (M.S., 1975; Ph.D., 1977)
Known forCoppersmith–Winograd algorithm
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJohn H. Hubbard
Shlomo Sternberg

In 1972, Coppersmith obtained a bachelor's degree in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Masters and PhD in mathematics from Harvard University in 1975 and 1977 respectively.[1] He was a Putnam Fellow each year from 1968–1971, becoming the first four-time Putnam Fellow in history. In 1998, he started Ponder This, an online monthly column on mathematical puzzles and problems. In October 2005, the column was taken over by James Shearer.[3]

In 2002, Coppersmith won the RSA Award for Excellence in Mathematics.[4][5]


  1. ^ a b Coppersmith, Don (May 1994). "The Data Encryption Standard (DES) and its strength against attacks" (PDF). IBM Journal of Research and Development. 38 (3): 243. doi:10.1147/rd.383.0243.
  2. ^ Coppersmith, D. (1994). "An approximate Fourier transform useful in quantum factoring". Technical Report RC19642, IBM.
  3. ^ "Welcome to our monthly puzzles". Retrieved 2018-01-05. The current puzzlemaster is Oded Margalit. He took over from James B. Shearer, who took over from the original puzzlemaster Don Coppersmith, in October 2005.
  4. ^ "Don Coppersmith Wins RSA Security Award for Mathematics". 2002-02-19. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  5. ^ "RSA Security Announces 2002 Award Recipients; Awards Recognize Major Contributions in Mathematics, Public Policy and Industry". 2002-02-19. Retrieved 2018-01-05.

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