He is Professor at the University of Luxembourg since 2003, and was its Vice-President during 10 years after having been the dean of its faculty of law, economics and finance. As vice-president, he was in charge of the conceptual organization of the new campus of the University in Belval (the largest real-estate project of the country, ca. 1 Bn €), organization, international relations and rankings. Before coming to Luxembourg, he previously held academic positions in France (CNRS Paris, University Joseph Fourier Grenoble), and in Germany (Max Planck-Institut für Mathematik Bonn, Technische Universität Berlin). He holds a PhD and a Habilitation in Mathematics. He was member of the board of LuxTrust S.A. from 2005 to 2016.
JAMES BOND'S MOST SECRET WEAPON
Prof. Franck Leprevost
Before creating James Bond in 1952, Ian Fleming (1908-1964) conducted intelligence activities for the UK. During WW2, among other things, he initiated the so-called "Operation Ruthless", a plan aiming to obtain the Enigma codes used by the German Navy. The plan was never implemented, much to the annoyance of Alan Turing, who was at that time heading the cipher school at Bletchley Park.
Nowadays it is known that the efforts made by the team of mathematicians at Bletchley Park to break Enigma saved numerous lives, and probably shorten the war. Since this dramatic period, security of communications has known a huge development, even a kind of "revolution" in the mid 1970's.
If during thousands of years symmetric-key cryptography mainly dominated the way messages were safely exchanged, the mid-1970's saw the emergence of a new concept: Public-Key Cryptography.
Cryptology progressively left the sphere of art to become a science. The security of public-key cryptosystems relies on the difficulty to solve mathematical problems. Nowadays, there are mainly two problems used in this setting: the Integer Factorization Problem (IFP) and the Discrete Logarithm Problem (DLP) in well-chosen groups. In the mid-1980's, Koblitz and Miller (independently) proposed to use elliptic curves, and defined the Elliptic Curve Discrete Logarithm Problem (ECDLP). According to today's knowledge, ECDLP is algorithmically safer than the other public-key crypto-systems.
The increasing importance of mathematics in secure communications a posteriori legitimates the provocative title of this hopefully beautifully illustrated and entertaining conference.