Research Menu

Skip Search Box

Technology Transfer - Advanced Mathematics

The foundation of the National Security Agency is based on highly advanced mathematics. Currently, we are the largest employer of mathematicians in the country. In order to remain a world leader in cryptologic methods in the future, we must continue to explore, understand, and exploit the power of advanced mathematics. This will also enable us to keep U.S. communications secure and maintain the country's ability to exploit new, advanced foreign communications systems.

In the world of the NSA, the language is mathematics and the tools are high-performance supercomputers. Technical problems are often stated in abstract terms, so mathematics is the natural language for precise expression. Many of the advanced techniques that have resulted from this research have potential applications to physical phenomena outside the national security realm.

NSA mathematicians are involved in a broad spectrum of subspecialties, from algebra to statistics, and number theory to combinatorics. Many of the projects they are involved in are interdisciplinary as well, requiring them to interact with technical experts from the fields of computer science, engineering, and linguistics. Through these consultations, they can develop computer hardware and influence computer design, and in this way, convert theories into realities. Our mathematicians have also made significant contributions in the fields of communications, engineering, speech research, and signals processing.

Contributions by the mathematicians within the nation's research community have been of tremendous benefit to our mission. NSA provides individual grants and conference funding in support of advanced mathematics research through its Mathematical Sciences' Program. We also fund summer research programs for undergraduate mathematicians at George Washington University, University of Miami in Ohio, and several other universities. NSA also sponsors a research program for undergraduates jointly with the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. We created the Director's Summer Program and the Mathematics Education Partnership Program in order to encourage future mathematicians, award grants for relevant mathematics research and offer bi-directional sabbaticals. Whenever possible, the NSA continues to share mathematical insights with its partners in academia and industry.


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15 2009