This workshop entitled “Progress on Cryptography: 25 Year of Cryptography in China” is being held during the celebration of Professor Guozhen Xiao’s 70th birthday. This proceeding is a birthday gift from all of his current and former graduate students, who have had the pleasure of being supervised by Professor Xiao during the last 25 years.
Cryptography, in Chinese, consists of two characters meaning “secret coding”. Thanks to Ch’in Chiu-Shao and his successors, the Chinese Remainder Theorem became a cornerstone of public key cryptography. Today, as we observe the constant usage of high-speed computers interconnected via the Internet, we realize that cryptography and its related applications have developed far beyond “secret coding”. China, which is rapidly developing in all areas of technology, is also writing a new page of history in cryptography. As more and more Chinese become recognized as leading researchers in a variety of topics in cryptography, it is not surprising that many of them are professor Xiao’s former students.
We will never forget a moment in the late 1970’s, during the time when China was just opening its door to the world, when Professor Xiao explained the idea of public key cryptography at a lecture. We were so fascinated that many of us have since devoted our careers to cryptography research and applications. Professor Xiao had started a weekly cryptography seminar, where we discussed newly published cryptography research papers from all over the world. We greatly benefited by the method he taught us, which was to catch the main ideas of each piece of research work. He also influenced us deeply by his method of approaching a creative breakthrough. As he said, “only when you can stand on the top of the existing results, just as you stand on the highest peak to look at all the mountains, can you figure out where to go next.” With this advice, we took our first step in research by thoroughly understanding other people’s work. As a result, many of us generated our first few pieces of work through the seminars.