Professor Ronald Linn Rivest (born 1947, Schenectady, New York) is a cryptographer, and is the Viterbi Professor of Computer Science at MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is most celebrated for his work on public-key encryption with Len Adleman and Adi Shamir, specifically the RSA algorithm, for which they won the 2002 ACM Turing Award.
He is also the inventor of the symmetric key encryption algorithms RC2, RC4, RC5, and co-inventor of RC6. The "RC" stands for "Rivest Cipher", or alternatively, "Ron's Code". (RC3 was broken at RSA Security during development; similarly, RC1 was never published.) Similarly, he also authored the MD2, MD4 and MD5 cryptographic hash functions.
He earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Yale University in 1969, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. He is a co-author of Introduction to Algorithms (also known as 'CLRS'), a standard textbook on algorithms, with Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson and Clifford Stein. He is a member of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the Theory of Computation Group, and a founder of its Cryptography and Information Security Group. He was also a founder of RSA Data Security (now merged with Security Dynamics to form RSA Security) and of Peppercoin.