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James Lee Massey

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James Lee Massey

James Lee Massey (February 11, 1934 – June 16, 2013)[1] was an information theorist and cryptographer, Professor Emeritus of Digital Technology at ETH Zurich. His notable work includes the application of the Berlekamp–Massey algorithm to linear codes, the design of the block ciphers IDEA (with Xuejia Lai) and SAFER, and the Massey-Omura cryptosystem (with Jim K. Omura).


Massey was born in Wauseon, Ohio. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1956 from the University of Notre Dame, and was granted an NSF Fellowship. After three years of military service, he began graduate studies in 1959 at MIT, where he concentrated on coding theory and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1962, with John Wozencraft as his advisor. He returned to Notre Dame, where he taught electrical engineering until 1977, publishing significant research in convolutional codes and frame synchronization techniques. After a brief period at UCLA, Massey accepted a position at ETH Zurich in 1980. He remained there until his retirement in 1998.

Massey died on June 16, 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark, after a battle with colon cancer.[1]

Honors and awards


External links

  • James Massey's CV at ETH Zurich
  • James Massey's bio at IEEE Global History Network
  • Mathematics Genealogy Project
Preceded by
C. Chapin Cutler, John O. Limb and Arun Netravali
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
Succeeded by
Donald Cox
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