Dr. Anna Johnston
jannaston at gmail dot com 

I am a cryptologist by trade and information theorist at heart.  Beginning with a research position in the US government, then with a national laboratory, I have worked in very applied areas of discrete mathematics.  These areas included cryptology, data compression and their interaction, extreme multiprecision arithmetic, bioinformatics (how does RNA's error correction work?) and back to cryptology.  Besides government and national laboratories, I have worked in private industry and academia

The ta-yen (otherwise known as the Chinese remainder theorem) and the continuation of calculus in high school are two areas not to bring up with me unless you'd like to talk for a while.  


    Ph.D. (Math/Information Security) Royal Holloway College, University of London.

    M.S. (Operations research/Mathematical Optimization) George Washington University; 

    B.S. (Math) Washington State University;


I have an interest in both symmetric (stream and block) and asymmetric cryptosystems, though I lean towards the public key side.  I've been fascinated with other information processing areas, particularly lossless compression, and the interactions between the three major branches of information processing in communications: data compression, cryptography, error correcting codes. 

I also have a strong interest in mathematical education.  I believe more emphasis on discrete mathematics from primary levels up is essential to improving mathematics education.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. Discrete mathematics is very concrete.  Students can experience the math directly and take more ownership of the material.
  2. Our calculus based society was born in the industrial age.  That age required calculus for many of the industrial innovations taking place.  Although those needs are still there, they are being overshadowed by the information age.  Discrete mathematics is a pivitol to the information age as calculus was to the industrial age.
  3. A solid understanding of discrete mathematics simplifies many of the concepts students struggle with from primary education onward.  

Other stuff

Fun math related sites: