Earlier this month, the scientific journal Nature Communications published a paper written by Daniel Belkin ’19 in collaboration with Hao Jiang of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Sergey Savel’ev of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.
The paper is the culmination of a research project conducted by Belkin, Jiang, Savel’ev, and several other students through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program during summer 2016. The team worked with Qiangfei Xia at the Nanodevices and Integrated Systems Lab at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Belkin joined the NSF Research program at the suggestion of his Swarthmore professors.
Entitled “A Novel True Random Number Generator Based on a Stochastic Diffusive Memristor,” the paper presents a design for an electrical circuit that generates random numbers very efficiently.
“Truly random numbers are important for computer security,” explains Belkin. The key computer of the circuit is a “diffusive memristor,” which the team developed in 2016. According to Belkin, the memristor “has some unusual electrical properties that make [their] circuit possible.”
Eventually, Belkin, an honors physics major and engineering and mathematics minor from Florence, Mass. who is also a standout athlete for the Garnet track & field team, hopes to integrate the random number generator circuit on a single chip in order to further improve the design.
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