Preface to AsiaCrypt 2001 Proceedings

The origins of the Asiacrypt series of conferences can be traced back to 1990, when the first Auscrypt conference was held, although the name Asiacrypt was first used for the 1991 conference in Japan. Starting with Asiacrypt 2000, the conference is now one of three annual conferences organised by the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR). The continuing success of Asiacrypt is in no small part due to the efforts of the Asiacrypt Steering Committee (ASC) and the strong support of the IACR Board of Directors.

There were 153 papers submitted to Asiacrypt 2001 and 33 of these were accepted for inclusion in these proceedings. The authors of every paper, whether accepted or not, made a valued contribution to the success of the conference. Sending out rejection notifications to so many hard working authors is one of the most unpleasant tasks of the Program Chair.

The review process lasted some 10 weeks and consisted of an initial refereeing phase followed by an extensive discussion period. My heartfelt thanks go to all members of the Program Committee who put in extreme amounts of time to give their expert analysis and opinions on the submissions. All papers were reviewed by at least three committee members; in many cases, particularly for those papers submitted by committee members, additional reviews were obtained. Specialist reviews were provided by an army of external reviewers without whom our decisions would have been much more difficult. A list of their names is included overleaf; I hope this is complete, but if there are omissions please be assured this was not intentional. My thanks go to all of them.

In addition to the contributed papers, I was delighted to be able to secure two eminent and engaging speakers for the invited talks at the conference. Arjen K. Lenstra talked on ``Impossible Security: Matching AES security using public key systems'' and Brendan McKay talked on ``Debunking the Bible Codes''. As is traditional at all IACR conferences, a rump session session was held to give the opportunity to hear latest results and work in progress on a wide variety of topics. I would like to thank Bill Caelli for agreeing to take charge of this event with his usual flair.

The smooth running of Asiacrypt 2001 was engineered by an Organising Committee led by the General Chair, Ed Dawson, and his deputy Mark Looi. Other members of the committee were Andrew Clark, Ernest Foo, Betty Hansford, Lauren May, Christine Orme and Jason Thomas.

I received sterling advice from many experienced people at all stages of the program preparation. Members of the ASC and the IACR board were all very supportive. Special mention must go to Tatsuaki Okamoto who acted as Advisory Member of the committee and provided advice based on his considerable experience. I would also like to particularly thank previous chairs of IACR conferences, Mihir Bellare, Bart Preneel and Joe Kilian, who got very used to being bothered by me with requests for advice on all kinds of problems I had not encountered before and were always prepared to give their insightful opinions.

Any conference today relies heavily on technology to ease the administrative burden. All paper submissions to Asiacrypt 2001 were received electronically using the web based submission software which has been provided by Chanathip Namprempre. Papers were then seamlessly imported into the review software which was kindly provided by COSIC, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, courtesy of Bart Preneel. The submission software was supported by COSIC's Wim Moreau, who was extremely helpful in providing advice and bug fixes, and went to great lengths to provide extra features in the software at very short notice. Installing and maintaining the software at ISRC was Andrew Clark. Andrew worked tirelessly to ensure that the web server and review server were (almost) always available, provided several additional features to the software, and generally worked miracles to solve all the problems I came up with.

I was assisted in many different ways by numerous other ISRC members. Ed Dawson, as General Chair and also as Director of ISRC, provided his support throughout. Greg Maitland and Kapali Viswanathan came to my rescue on numerous occasions.

Having seen all the people who contributed to the process of preparing the program, it may be deduced that I did very little myself. Nevertheless all those late nights and weekends went somewhere and I would like to acknowledge the forbearance of my family $D + C^3$, and my colleagues and research students, who experienced severe denial of service at many times over the past months.