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The mission of the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is to answer the most challenging U.S. security and science policy questions with objective analysis leveraging extraordinary scientific, technical, and analytic expertise.


SAC provides support to our many sponsor organizations. Initially, SAC analyzed weapons systems, tactical doctrine, and force structure issues. Over succeeding decades, SAC’s research capabilities broadened to meet the evolving needs of its sponsors. Today, SAC blends expertise in technologies and systems with deep knowledge of costs, policies, human capital, intelligence, advanced analytic methods, and sponsor organizations and processes.


STPI’s interdisciplinary staff provides responsive, high-quality analyses of national and international science and technology (S&T) issues important to OSTP and other executive branch sponsors, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration.


The research portfolio has evolved over the years as communications technologies have advanced. Today, areas of particular emphasis are the creation and analysis of sophisticated encryption methods, high-performance computing technologies, the 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, and analytical applications for large data sets. This list of problem areas gives no real hint as to the very wide diversity of mathematical approaches employed; virtually every branch of pure and applied mathematics has proved to be useful in these efforts.

Our success in providing cutting-edge research in mathematics and computer science to the National Security Agency (NSA) rests on four key pillars: exceptionally talented and versatile researchers, state-ofthe-art computational capabilities, a close working relationship with NSA, and ongoing engagement with the broader research community so that the work can take advantage of advances in the academic and commercial worlds.