Manuel Blum, Carnegie Mellon University's Bruce Nelson professor of computer science, and a leader in the world oftheoretical computing, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a U.S. scientist or engineer.Blum is one of the founders of computational complexity theory, work that has also had applications to cryptography andprogram checking. He came to Carnegie Mellon as a visiting professor in 1999 after a distinguished career at theUniversity of California at Berkeley where he received an A.M. Turing Award, the highest honor in computing, in1995. He received Carnegie Mellon's Nelson Chair in the fall of 2001.Blum's work has developed around a single unifying theme--finding positive, practical consequences of living in a worldwhere all computational resources are bounded. He showed that secure business transactions and pseudo-random numbergeneration are possible because all computational devices have finite resources.Today he is working on the Completely Automated Public Turing Test, which is used by Yahoo to ensure that registrantsto Web sites are humans and not robots.
Blum attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his bachelor?s, and master's degrees inelectrical engineering in 1959 and ?61, and a doctor's degree in mathematics in 1964.His election to the Academy brings the number of Carnegie Mellon members to seven. The others include John R. Anderson, Stephen E Fienberg, James McClelland, Dana Scott, Robert Griffiths andLincoln Wolfenstein.
The National Academy of Sciences was founded in 1863 to advise the government on the scientific issues that frequentlypervade policy decisions. The Academy and its sister organizations -- the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council-- 0work outside the framework ofgovernment to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine.