Dr. Ralph May


Personal Bio

Dr. May has been teaching cryptology at Johns Hopkins since the fall semester, 2002. As a mathematician by training (Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania), the subject was a natural draw—especially with the advent of public key cryptography. As someone who has spent much of his professional career working various aspects of systems performance, system structure and operational behavior, he was also drawn to the subject by it practical aspects. After all, while cryptographic systems are only a part of system security problems, they must be well engineered to provide high performance while being attack resistant. Addressing these problems involves issues like algorithm design, system engineering, complexity theory…

Over the years, he has worked at The Center for Naval Analyses, MCI Telecommunications, IBM Federal Systems, and America Online. At AOL, he held several different positions within the System Operations Division, including Senior Director, Application Security.

Education History

  • B.S. Mathematics with Honors, University of North Carolina
  • M.S. Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D. Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania