categories

HOT TOPICS

Subscribe to our Feed

Serial Entrepreneur: Taher Elgamal (Part 3)

Posted on Monday, Mar 26th 2007

In our next segment, Taher discusses his cryptography background and how he coverted it into a professional career.

SM: What did you focus on for your PhD work that led you into your professional career? TE: I developed this signature scheme … The Elgamal crypto scheme – of course I did not give it that name. I believe Jim Omura was the first person who called it after me. He was at UCLA and was starting a company called Cylink at the time. He was trying to lobby the government to establish a public key crypto scheme. The government did not want to license a patented product at the time. When my scheme was published some people in the government found it and worked on it and put out a NIST standard, a government standard, based on that. It is called DSS. I could not patent that algorithm because I was a foreign graduate student. The options I had as a foreign graduate student to be able to patent in cryptography, I would have had to stay a student until the patent was issued.

Instead, I chose to publish it, and graduate. Of course it became public, and hit the internet, and a lot of people have done variations on it. A friend of mine has recently counted and informed me that tens of thousands of papers have been written on this study.

SM: Is that why it spawned a lot of innovation? TE: Probably because it was free. In hindsight it was the right thing to do, but I did not intentionally do it.

SM: Yes and no. If you were able to patent it you could have built a company out of it. TE: Perhaps, but at the time it took RSA ten years to build a successful business off of a cryptology patent.

SM: You are saying it is not a slam dunk. TE: I was actually lucky because I became very well known in that space, as well as in the government. Today I show up in meetings in the Far East and people know who I am.

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
[Part 5]
[Part 6]
[Part 7]
[Part 8]
[Part 9]
[Part 10]
[Part 11]
[Part 12]
[Part 13]

This segment is part 3 in the series : Serial Entrepreneur: Taher Elgamal
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos

Comments

[…] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Serial Entreprenuer : Taher Elgamal (Part 4) Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 9:00 AM PT

[…] 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Serial Entreprenuer : Taher Elgamal (Part 5) Wednesday, March 28, 2007 at 9:01 AM PT

[…] 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Serial Entreprenuer : Taher Elgamal (Part 7) Friday, March 30, 2007 at 9:03 AM PT

[…] 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Serial Entreprenuer : Taher Elgamal (Part 11) Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 9:01 AM PT

[…] 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Serial Entreprenuer : Taher Elgamal (Part 13) Thursday, April 5, 2007 at 9:16 AM PT