LCS35 Time Capsule Event


Daniela Rus
A 20-year-old cryptographic puzzle posed by our lab was solved 15 years earlier than expected. The puzzle was originally proposed in 1999 during the 35th anniversary of the Lab for Computer Science (LCS), when it was announced that if a correct solution was uncovered, we would unseal a special “LCS time capsule” filled with MIT computing artifacts, including objects related to the invention of the World Wide Web, Ethernet, time-sharing and the spreadsheet.

We will open the capsule on Wednesday, May 15 as part of a special event from 4:00-6:00pm, which will include include:
Crypto puzzle seminar and award ceremony in Patil 32-G449: The live stream of the technical talks and award presentations will be available from 4:00-5:00pm EST at this link (
-A brief talk from Professor Ron Rivest about the original puzzle
-A presentation of the solution developed by Bernard Fabrot
-Q&A with the team responsible for the solution

Time Capsule ceremony in R&D Commons, which will be video recorded and available for viewing afterward:
- The official unsealing of the time capsule and a reflection on its many artifacts
- A special ceremony featuring a new challenge puzzle (designed to take 15 years to solve to get to the original target of 35 years) and a “re-sealing” of the capsule.

Refreshments will be served during the time capsule ceremony.