Prof. Dr. Eike Kiltz - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizewinner 2024

Prof. Dr. Eike Kiltz

Prof. Dr. Eike Kiltz

© DFG / David Ausserhofer

Cryptography, University Bochum

Eike Kiltz receives the Leibniz Prize 2024 for his fundamental and pioneering work in the field of public key cryptography, which has had a lasting impact on theory and practice. Public key cryptography allows information to be securely encrypted and communicated via public channels, enabling secure connections to be established and documents to be digitally signed. The encryption technique is based on the prime factorisation of large numbers, a task which cannot easily be performed by conventional computers. The security of public key methods can only be guaranteed if the underlying mathematical problems cannot be efficiently calculated. As quantum computers advance in the future, computing power will increase and there will be a greater risk that the keys used can be calculated. This is why researchers are engaged in an intense search for new cryptographic methods that would be secure even if quantum computers were to be used. Kiltz’s work lays the foundations for these new methods. A proof designed by him has become established as the basis for verifying the security of new methods. Working with two teams led by him, Kiltz has developed proposals for lattice-based cryptographic methods that have been selected by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology as future standards for post-quantum cryptography. 

Eike Kiltz obtained his doctorate in mathematics from the Ruhr University Bochum in 2004, after which he spent a year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Diego. He then moved to the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam as a research assistant, before returning to the University Bochum in 2010. He now holds the Chair of Cryptography there and is one of the spokespersons for the Cluster of Excellence “Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries (CASA)”. Sources of funding for his research include an ERC Consolidator Grant (2013) and an ERC Advanced Grant (2021).


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