Center for Computing Sciences - Bowie, Maryland

Since the 1950s, the Center for Communications and Computing has performed fundamental research in support of the National Security Agency’s mission in cryptology, which includes both foreign signals intelligence and protecting the communications of the U.S. government. The Center consists of the Center for Computing Sciences in Bowie, Maryland; the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, New Jersey; and the Center for Communication Research in La Jolla, California. All three centers have developed distinct areas of expertise, yet they work closely with each other and collaborate on many overlapping research projects.

Center for Computing Sciences - Bowie, Maryland

Our research focus

CCS staff at meeting

Our research portfolio has evolved as communications technologies have advanced. Areas of particular emphasis are:

  • Creation and analysis of sophisticated encryption methods.
  • High-performance computing technologies.
  • Development of advanced algorithms and their applications.
  • Algorithmic and mathematical foundations of cryptology.
  • Computer network technologies supporting communications security.
  • Information processing technologies supporting cyber security.
  • Analytical applications for large data sets.

This list only hints at the breadth of the advanced mathematical approaches employed. Virtually every branch of pure and applied mathematics has proved to be useful in these efforts, and we are continually evolving our innovative approaches.

CCS staff at meeting

Our success in providing the National Security Agency with trailblazing research in mathematics and computer science rests on four key pillars: exceptionally talented and versatile researchers, state-of-the-art computational capabilities, long-standing working relationships with the sponsor, and ongoing engagement with the broader research community. Together, these pillars ensure our work takes advantage of advances in the academic and commercial worlds.

Collaborative, academic environment

We work in an extraordinarily collaborative, academic-style environment that combines unique areas of expertise. In addition to recruiting exceptional new mathematical talent, we foster and maintain close ties with the academic mathematical world. We emphasize breadth and depth in our mathematics expertise; while some researchers focus on coding, others may do none.

Perhaps the most important collaboration occurs during our summer workshops, called SCAMPs. These workshops draw academics and others to use a concerted “tiger team” approach whereby cross-functional teams are brought together to investigate several especially difficult problems each summer. Invitees are diverse in many ways: they come from the academic community and other research organizations; their experience levels are broad, ranging from seasoned researchers and distinguished faculty to advanced graduate students and exceptional undergraduate students; and they come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including mathematics, computer science, statistics, physics, and electrical engineering. In a typical summer, the three centers host more than a hundred visitors, and the intense and collegial atmosphere is well known. Discover what it’s like to work with us by participating in the SCAMP Summer Program. For more information, contact the center of your choice.

co-workers collaborating on project

Center for Communications Research, Princeton (CCR-P)

CCR-P, the oldest of the three centers, was founded in 1959 as the Communications Research Division. Our mission is to apply mathematical and computational research to cryptology and related disciplines. As the modes and means of modern communications have become more complex, we have expanded our research into other areas, including speech, signals processing to remove noise and distortion, and network security. Mathematics remains the fundamental science used to create and analyze the sophisticated algorithms used to encipher vulnerable communications and cryptologic problems. For more information, email

Center for Computing Sciences (CCS)

CCS, founded in 1985, is located in Bowie, Maryland, between Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Maryland. The CCS portfolio initially focused on the development and use of high-performance computing and now includes cryptography, network security and related cyber issues, signal processing, advanced techniques for analyzing extremely complex data sets, and alternative computing paradigms. Most research staff members have doctorates in computer science, mathematics, computer architecture, electrical engineering, information theory, and natural sciences. For more information, email

Center for Communications Research, La Jolla (CCR-L)

CCR-L was founded in 1989 in La Jolla, California, within the city of San Diego. Here, we focus on mathematical research related to cryptology and signals intelligence, including machine learning. The typical CCR-L researcher has a doctorate in mathematics, although we also hire researchers with backgrounds in statistics, computer science, and engineering. For more information, email