NSA Historical Figures

Jack C. Mortick

2021 Hall of Honor Inductee

Jack Mortick was preeminent in crypto-mathematics for his 41-year career in practical applications and leadership. As a leader in the crypto-mathematics community, he shaped the workforce to meet future challenges.
 
In 1966, Jack was hired for mathematics research, and over the next decades developed mathematical theories and algorithms needed to confront the most important problems of the time. In a seminal 1972 paper, Jack laid down foundations that formed the basis for much of NSA's mathematics work then and still are relied on today.
 
In 1983, Jack put together a group of mathematicians, known then and now as the Barbershop, for a special project. Techniques arising from this work enabled spectacular successes in the following decades.
 
Lecture notes from his 1970s course on analysis have been the basis for NSA courses for over 30 years. Jack participated in several high-level study groups that formulated initiatives to invigorate mathematics at NSA.
 
Jack took the lead in NSA's recruitment and development of mathematics talent.  He served as the second math hiring "tsar,” instituting a process for evaluation of mathematics applicants. Throughout his career, Jack mentored outstanding crypto-mathematical talent; his protégés include many respected leaders of the community.


Jack Mortick retired from NSA in 2007.