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The Many Faces of Identity

Event Type
Bruce Hajek, Ph.D.
ECEB 1002 Grainger Auditorium
Oct 7, 2021   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Radia Perlman, Ph.D., Dell Technologies
Bruce Hajek, Ph.D.
Originating Calendar
Illinois ECE Distinguished Colloquium Series


"Identity" is one of these buzzwords "everyone knows" what is meant.  However, there are many somewhat orthogonal challenges to solving "the identify problem".  How do things get names?  How do other things know the correct name for the thing?  How do things prove they are that name?  How do people get unique names?  How does a human prove it has a particular name?  How does a human know the name of another human?  There is lovely theory for solving all of these issues, involving certificates, CAs, etc.  And will "blockchain" somehow solve all of this?  This talk discusses where theory and reality diverge.  Although it's terrifying how fragile, unusable, and insecure the state of the art is today, students should be delighted that there is so much opportunity for improving things.



Radia Perlman is a Fellow at Dell EMC.  Her specialties include network routing protocols, and network security.  she developed the technology for making network routing self-stabilizing, largely self-managing, and scalable.  She also invented the spanning tree algorithm, which transformed Ethernet from a technology that supported a few hundred nodes within a single building, to something that could support large networks.  She also has made contributions in network security, including scalable data expiration, distributed algorithms despite malicious participants, DDOS prevention techniques, and user authentication.  she is the author of the textbook "Interconnections" (about network layers 2 and 3) and coauthor of "Network Security".  She has been recognized with many industry honors including induction into the National Academy of Engineering, the Inventor Hall of Fame, The Internet Hall of Fame, Washington State Academy of Science, and lifetime achievement awards from Usenix and SIGCOMM.  She has a PhD in computer science MIT.



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