• Professor
    • Peter Stevenhagen
    • Leiden University
    • Number theory

Factoring in number fields

It has been known since Euclid that integers can uniquely be factored into primes, and the makers of the RSA encryption scheme have exploited the fact that doing this in practice can be too hard even for powerful computers. We will see that unique factorisation is not automatic in slightly more general situations, and that the necessary theory, which is at the roots of much of 20th century algebra, is now used to factor ordinary integers more efficiently than we previously could.


Peter Stevenhagen (PhD University of California at Berkeley, 1988) is full professor and director of the Mathematisch Instituut in Leiden, and chairman of the Diamant cluster. His research is in algebra and (algorithmic) number theory.

P. Stevenhagen's Homepage