Benny Chor passed away on June 10, 2021. Luca Trevisan had a blog post on the news.
We present a guest post on Benny Chor's life and works by Oded Goldreich. The post has many refs to papers. They will appear at the end with pointers to them.
Benny Chor was born on December 23rd 1956 and grew-up in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He studied Mathematics in the Hebrew University, receiving a B.Sc. in 1980 and an M.Sc. in 1981. He then switched to studying Computer Science at MIT, and graduated in 1985 with a PhD thesis titled
Two Issues in Public Key Cryptography -- RSA Bit Security and a New Knapsack Type System
which received an ACM Distinguished Dissertation award. After post-doctoral periods at MIT and Harvard, he took a faculty position at the Computer Science Department of the Technion (1987-2001), and then at Tel-Aviv University, where he served as the chairman of the department for two years. He died on June 10th 2021, from a terminal disease.
Although Benny was a very articulated and verbal person, I find it impossible to describe his personality in words. The point is that words cannot capture the experience of interacting with him, which was always sheer fun. Still, I guess I should say something personal as a close friend of his. So I will just mention that he lived happily with Metsada, whom he met in the summer of 1981, and that they lovingly raised three kids: Arnon, Omer and Aya. Actually, let me also mention his life-long close relationship with his brother, Kobi.
Focusing on his contributions to science, I will confine myself to the areas of cryptography and randomized computation. Still, let me mention that in the mid 1990s, Benny's research interests gradually shifted to computational biology, but I will not review his contributions to that area, since it is very remote from my own expertise.
|Oded and Benny|
|Benny with his family's namesake (Chor = Bull)|