Franklin did his undergraduate studies at Pomona College, graduating in 1983 with a degree in mathematics, and was awarded a master's degree in mathematics in 1985 by the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from Columbia University in 1994, under the joint supervision of Zvi Galil and Moti Yung. Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty in 2000, he worked at Xerox PARC, Bell Labs, and AT&T Labs.
Franklin is particularly known for the Boneh-Franklin scheme, a cryptography scheme he developed with Dan Boneh that uses the mathematics of elliptic curves to automatically generate public and private key pairs based on the identities of the communicating parties. In 2013, he and Boneh were winners of the Gödel Prize for their work on this system.
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