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Computer Security and Cryptography by Alan G. Konheim

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1.9 THE GIANTS

William Friedman (Fig. 1.8), who was born September 24, 1891, in Russia, emigrated to the United States in 1892 when his parents settled in Pittsburgh. Friedman studied farming at the Michigan Agricultural College, because this program was tuition-free. When Friedman discovered that he was more interested in science, he enrolled in the genetics program at Cornell, which was also free as a land-grant college. While in Graduate School, Friedman met George Fabyan, who established the Riverbank Laboratories in Geneva, Illinois.

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Figure 1.8 William Friedman (Courtesy of NSA).

Fabyan, known as the “Colonel,” was interested in acoustics, chemistry, genetics, and cryptography. Friedman began to work at Riverbank in 1915. Fabyan had been convinced by Ms Elizabeth Wells Gallup, a librarian at the Riverbank Laboratories, that there existed a cipher embedded in the first editions of the works of Shakespeare and that it would prove Bacon wrote some of the works attributed to the bard of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Friedman became head of the Department of Codes and Ciphers at Riverbank and actively began the study of cryptography. Friedman developed the first true cryptographic competence in the United States, developing methods for the analysis of polyalphabetic systems (Chapter 4). They were published originally in a series of Riverbank Monographs and our now reprinted by Aegean Park ...

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