Nigel Smart (cryptographer)

Nigel Smart is a professor at COSIC at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He is also associated with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol. He is a cryptographer with expertise in the theory of cryptography and its application in practice.[1][2]

Nigel Smart
Born (1967-10-22) 22 October 1967
Alma mater
Known forECC
Work on the ECDLP problem
Pairing-based cryptography
Efficient Secure multi-party computation
Fully Homomorphic Encryption
Scientific career
InstitutionsKatholieke Universiteit Leuven
Doctoral advisorJohn Merriman


Smart received a BSc degree in mathematics from the University of Reading in 1989. He then obtained his PhD degree from the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1992; his thesis was titled The Computer Solutions of Diophantine Equations.


Smart proceeded to work as a research fellow at the University of Kent, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Cardiff University until 1995. From 1995 to 1997, he was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Kent, and then spent three years in industry at Hewlett-Packard from 1997 to 2000. From 2000 to 2017 he was at the University of Bristol, where he founded the cryptology research group. From 2018 he has been based in the COSIC group at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Smart held a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2008–2013), and two ERC Advanced Grant (2011–2016 and 2016-2021). He was a director of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (2012–2014), and was elected Vice President for the period 2014-2016.[3] In 2016 he was named as a Fellow of the IACR.[4]


Prof. Smart is best known for his work in elliptic curve cryptography, especially work on the ECDLP.[5][6][7] He has also worked on pairing-based cryptography contributing a number of algorithms such as the SK-KEM[8] and the Ate-pairing[9]

Smart carries out research on a wide variety of topics in cryptography. He has been instrumental in the effort to make secure multiparty computation practical. A few of his works in this direction include.[10][11][12]

His work with Gentry and Halevi on performing the first large calculation using Fully Homomorphic Encryption[13] won the IBM Pat Goldberg Best Paper Award for 2012.[14]

In addition to his three years at HP Laboratories, Smart was a founder of the startup Identum specialising in pairing based cryptography and identity based encryption. This was bought by Trend Micro in 2008.[15] In 2013 he formed, with Yehuda Lindell, Unbound Tech (formally called Dyadic Security), a company focusing on deploying distributed cryptographic solutions based on multi-party computations. He is also the co-founder, along with Kenny Paterson, of the Real World Crypto conference series.[16]


  • Nigel P. Smart (1998). The Algorithmic Resolution of Diophantine Equations. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64633-8.
  • Ian F. Blake, Gadiel Seroussi and Nigel P. Smart (1999). Elliptic Curves in Cryptography. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-65374-9.
  • Nigel P. Smart (2002). Cryptography An Introduction. McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-709987-9.
  • I.F. Blake; G. Seroussi & Nigel P. Smart (2004). Advances in Elliptic Curve Cryptography. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-60415-4.
  • Nigel P. Smart (editor) (2005). Cryptography and Coding. Springer-Verlag, LNCS 3796. ISBN 978-3-540-30276-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Nigel P. Smart (editor) (2008). Advances in Cryptology - Eurocrypt 2008. Springer-Verlag, LNCS 4965. ISBN 978-3-540-78966-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Daniel Page & Nigel P. Smart (2014). What Is Computer Science? An Information Security Perspective. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-319-04041-7.
  • Nigel P. Smart (2015). Cryptography Made Simple. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-21935-6.
  • Arpita Patra & Nigel P. Smart (2017). Progress in Cryptology - INDOCRYPT 2017. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-319-71667-1.


  1. Nigel P. Smart at DBLP Bibliography Server
  2. Nigel Smart publications indexed by Google Scholar
  3. "IACR Election 2013 - List of Candidates and Propositions". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  4. "IACR Fellows 2016".
  5. S. D. Galbraith and N. P. Smart, A cryptographic application of the Weil descent, Cryptography and Coding, 1999.
  6. P. Gaudry, F. Hess, and N. P. Smart, Constructive and destructive facets of Weil descent on elliptic curves, Hewlett Packard Laboratories Technical Report, 2000.
  7. N. Smart, The discrete logarithm problem on elliptic curves of trace one, Journal of Cryptology, Volume 12, 1999.
  8. Barbosa et. al, SK-KEM: An Identity-Based KEM
  9. F. Hess, N. Smart, F. Vercauteren. The Eta-pairing revisited. In IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. 52(10), p. 4595-4602, 2006.
  10. B. Pinkas, T. Schneider, N. P. Smart and S. C. Williams. Secure two-party computation is practical, ASIACRYPT 2009
  11. I. Damgard, V. Pastro, N. P. Smart, and S. Zakarias. Multiparty computation from somewhat homomorphic encryption, CRYPTO 2012.
  12. I. Damgard, M. Keller, E. Larraia, C. Miles and N. P. Smart. Implementing AES via an Actively/Covertly Secure Dishonest-Majority MPC Protocol, SCN 2012.
  13. C. Gentry, S. Halevi and N. P. Smart. Homomorphic Evaluation of the AES Circuit CRYPTO 2012.
  14. "Pat Goldberg Memorial 2012 Best Papers in CS, EE and Math - IBM". 23 March 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  15. "Trend Micro buys into encryption with Identum purchase | News". 27 February 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  16. "Real World Crypto Symposium". 1 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
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