Patent for ISU Alum Mike Rothschild Finalized

October 27, 2010

A patent for CS alum Mike Rothschild (BS, 2009) has finally been issued by the U.S. Patent Office. First reported on by the LAS College in 2008, Rothschild first started working on an idea concerning data encryption while at a work study program with IBM in 2006. 

He suggested taking relational data in a database, encrypting them as is the norm, but then scrambling them into new cells anywhere in the table of data so that they are no longer relational. The leader of his work team, which was looking at improved database design, liked the idea. After tweaking the concept, Rothschild's brainchild eventually led to an IBM patent application with the U.S. Patent Office. 

It's the method used to encrypt the data that's key to the patent, and for a long time, something he was not allowed to discuss. All can read about it now, in the patent description. Mike's success in applying for and getting a patent as a student is just one example of the many opportunities Computer Science students have while working on their degree and preparing for their careers. Now working full time at IBM in Chicago, Mike occasionally comes back to visit the department and talk to current students about how to take advantage of those opportunities.