Computer scientist Nitin Saxena will start as a postdoc researcher at CWI on 1 September 2006. Saxena is well known as co-author of the article 'PRIMES is in P', which received a lot of media attention the last few years. Together with Manindra Agrawal and Neeraj Kayal he won the 2006 Gödel Prize for this 'outstanding journal article in theoretical computer science' in April and, by that, is the youngest Gödel Prize winner ever. He also won the 2006 Fulkerson Prize. This prestigious prize is awarded every three year for outstanding papers in the area of discrete mathematics by the Mathematical Programming Society and American Mathematical Society. Together with postdoc Ben Toner from Caltech he will be appointed on the quantum computing grants Vici and BRICKS.
The Gödel Prize Award Committee wrote on Saxena's work: "In August 2002 one of the oldest computational problems was finally solved. Agrawal, Kayal, and Saxena presented a ( ... ') deterministic algorithm that determines whether an input number is prime or composite. Due to the Internet, the preprint of their paper circulated within hours in the scientific community and found an immediate enthusiastic response." The committee members speak highly of the algorithm's runtime and describe the article as a masterpiece in mathematical reasoning. Many researchers have been inspired by the algebraic techniques and have continued to work on them. The difficulty of finding the prime factors of very large numbers is a cornerstone of cryptography and data security.