The man to whom we owe a great deal of respect, money, and gratitude is D. J. Bernstein.
Here is his site: http://cr.yp.to/djb.html
Bernstein is directly responsible for salsa20, which is what makes the scrypt algorithm so strong and secure. He personally aided Colin Percival to my knowledge, so it is likely that without him, next gen cryptocoins like LiteCoin and MinCoin wouldn't exist.
His site contains much useful and funny content, among them:
1) All of his course materials that would usually cost $100s in textbook form.
2) All of his academic papers that would usually be behind a library/archive pay wall.
3) All of the court documents relating to his legal efforts to allow the global spread of cryptographic technology.
4) Tragically funny stories about working as an academic.
I highly suggest you read his site to understand where this technology we all use came from