George Robert (Bob) Blakley Jr. was an American cryptographer and a professor of mathematics at Texas A&M University, best known for inventing a secret sharing scheme in 1979 (see [1]).

Biography edit

Blakley did his undergraduate studies in physics at Georgetown University, and received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland in 1960. After postdoctoral studies at Cornell University and Harvard University, he held faculty positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and the State University of New York at Buffalo before joining Texas A&M in 1970. At Texas A&M, he was chairman of the mathematics department from 1970 to 1978.[2]

Blakley served on the board of directors of the International Association for Cryptologic Research from 1993 to 1995.[2] He co-founded the International Journal of Information Security, published by Springer-Verlag, in 2000,[2][3] and then served on its advisory board.[4]

His son, George Robert (Bob) Blakley III, is also a computer security researcher.[5]

Secret-sharing scheme edit

In order to split a secret into several shares, Blakley's scheme specifies the secret as a point in n-dimensional space, and gives out shares that correspond to hyperplanes that intersect the secret point. Any n such hyperplanes will specify the point, while fewer than n hyperplanes will leave at least one degree of freedom, and thus leave the point unspecified.[6]

In contrast, Shamir's secret sharing scheme represents the secret as the y-intercept of an n-degree polynomial, and shares correspond to points on the polynomial.[7]

Awards and honors edit

In 2001 Blakley received an honorary doctorate from Queensland University of Technology.[2][8]

In 2009 he was named a fellow of the International Association for Cryptologic Research.[2][9][10]

References edit

  1. ^ OBITUARY: George Robert Blakley Jr. MAY 6, 1932 – DECEMBER 10, 2018
  2. ^ a b c d e Curriculum vitae Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, Texas A&M University, retrieved 2010-07-14.
  3. ^ JournalSeek: International Journal of Information Security, retrieved 2010-07-14.
  4. ^ International Journal of Information Security editorial board, retrieved 2010-07-14.
  5. ^ Blog post by Bob Blakley III, September 2005, describing their relationship. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  6. ^ Blakley, G. R. (1979). "Safeguarding cryptographic keys". Proceedings of the National Computer Conference. 48: 313–317.
  7. ^ Shamir, Adi (1979). "How to share a secret". Communications of the ACM. 22 (11): 612–613. doi:10.1145/359168.359176. S2CID 16321225.
  8. ^ "2001 Travel and Talks". Mathematics Department, Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  9. ^ Recent faculty awards Archived 2010-07-23 at the Wayback Machine, College of Science, Texas A&M University, retrieved 2010-07-13.
  10. ^ Fellow citation, IACR, retrieved 2010-07-13.