Alan T. Sherman


Alan Theodore Sherman

Academic Title

Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Contact Information


Research Summary

Alan Sherman is the director of UMBC’s Center for Information Security and Assurance (CISA), an epicenter for Information Assurance research and education within UMBC’s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department (CSEE). He is an expert in cryptology, pursuing research in algorithm design, cryptanalysis, theoretical foundations for cryptography, and applications of cryptography. His main research interest is the security of electronic voting systems.

Sherman has been an associate professor in the CSEE department since 1995. He teaches courses in Information Assurance, Electronic Voting Systems, Cryptology, Algorithms, and Discrete Math, and has been the director of UMBC’s award-winning Chess Program for over a decade.

Sherman spearheads the Information Assurance and Cybersecurity scholarship programs at UMBC: the Information Assurance Scholarship Program, funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), and the newly adopted Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service program, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Sherman is a cryptographic consultant for private industry, performing security evaluations and DARPA, and other government sponsored security research. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT.

Research Interests

My research interests include high-integrity voting systems (including Scantegrity), key management for large dynamic groups, cryptanalysis, applications of cryptography, information assurance education, and theoretical foundations of cryptology.

Current Research


Ph.D., Computer Science, MIT, 1987
S.M., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT, 1982
Sc.B., Mathematics, magna cum laude, Brown University, 1978

Recent Publications

A. Books

  1. Sherman, Alan T., VLSI Placement and Routing: The PI Project, Springer-Verlag (New York, 1989). 189 pages.
  2. Chaum, David, Ronald L. Rivest, and Alan T. Sherman, eds., Advances in Cryptology: Proceedings of Crypto 82, Plenum Perss (New York, 1983). 331 pages.

B. Book Chapters (1)

  1. Richard T. Carback, David Chaum, Jeremy Clark, Aleksander Essex, Travis Mayberry, Stefan Popoveniuc, Ronald L. Rivest, Emily Shen, Alan T. Sherman, Poorvi L. Vora, John Wittrock, and Filip Zagorski. “The Scantegrity Voting System and its Use in the Takoma Park Elections” in Real-World Electronic Voting: Design, Analysis and Deployment, edited by Feng Hao and Peter Y. A. Ryan. Taylor and Francis (April 2015), accepted.

C. Research Articles in Refereed Journals (20)

  1. Sherman, Alan T., John Seymour, Akshayraj Kore, William Newton, “Chaum’s protocol for detecting man-in-the-middle: Explanation, demonstration, and timing studies for a text-messaging scenario,” Cryptologia, Vol. 40 (February 22, 2016), 1–26.
  2. Michael Oehler, Dhananjay S. Phatak, and Alan T. Sherman, “A conjunction, language, and system facets for private packet filtering,” Journal of ASE Science, Vol. 1, No. 2 (August 15, 2013), 103120.
  3. Dykstra, Josiah, and Alan T. Sherman, “Design and Implementation of FROST: Digital Forensic Tools for the OpenStack Cloud Computing Platform,” Digital Investigation, Vol. 10 (2013), S87–S95.
  4. Phatak, Dhananjay, Alan T. Sherman, Nikhil Joshi, Bhushan Sonawane, Vivek G. Relan, and Amol Dawalbhakta, “Spread Identity: A new address remapping mechanism for anonymity and DDoS defense,” Journal of Computer Security, vol. 21 (2013), 233–281.
  5. Dykstra, Josiah, and Alan T. Sherman, “Acquiring forensic evidence from infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing: Exploring and evaluating tools, trust, and techniques,” Digital Investigation Vol. 9 (2012), S90–S98. 2For a more complete and detailed list of my earlier works, see the separate document Scholarly and Creative Works. Until 2003, I always listed authors in alphabetical order. Alan T. Sherman, Curriculum Vitae—July 3, 2016 18
  6. Sherman, Alan T., Dhananjay Phatak, Vivek G. Relan, and Bhushan Sonawane, “Location authentication, tracking, and emergency signaling through power line communication: Designs and protocols for new out-of-band strategies,” Cryptologia, Vol. 36, No. 2 (2012), 129–148.
  7. Dykstra, Josiah, and Alan T. Sherman, “Understanding issues in cloud forensics: Two hypothetical case studies,” Journal of Network Forensics, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (Autumn 2011), 19–31. [This paper won the Outstanding Case Study Award for 2012 by the The American Academy of Forensic Sciences.]
  8. Chaum, David, Richard Carback, Jeremy Clark, Aleksander Essex, Stefan Popoveniuc, Ronald L. Rivest, Peter Y.A. Ryan, Emily Shen, Alan T. Sherman, and Poorvi Vora, Scantegrity II: End-to-End verifiability by voters of optical scan elections through confirmation codes, IEEE Transactions on Information, Forensics, and Security—special issue on voting, Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 2009), 611–627.
  9. Fink, Russ, Alan Sherman, and Richard Carback, “TPM meets DRE: Reducing the trust base of electronic voting using Trusted Platform Modules,” IEEE Transactions on Information, Forensics, and Security—special issue on voting, Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 2009), 628–637.
  10. Chaum, David, Aleks Essex, Richard Carback, Alan T. Sherman, Jeremy Clark, Stefan Popoveniuc, and Poori Vora, “Scantegrity: End-to-End voter-verifiable optical-scan voting,” IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 6, no. 3 (May/June 2008), 40–46. Special issue on e-voting, David R. Jefferson and Aviel D. Rubin, eds.
  11. Sherman, Alan T., and David A. McGrew, “Key establishment in large dynamic groups using one-way function trees,” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 29:5 (May 2003), 444–458.
  12. Rabi, Muhammad, and Alan T. Sherman, “An observation on associative one-way functions in complexity theory,” Information Processing Letters, 64:5 (December 1997), 239–244.
  13. Cain, Thomas, and Alan T. Sherman, “How to break Gifford’s Cipher,” Cryptologia, XXI:3 (July 1997), 237–286.3
  14. Ravada, Sivakumar, and Alan T. Sherman, “Experimental evaluation of a partitioning algorithm for the Steiner tree problem in R2 and R3 ,” Networks, 24:8 (December 1994), 409–415. 3This paper was accepted before I became an editor of Cryptologia. Alan T. Sherman, Curriculum Vitae—July 3, 2016 19
  15. Ganesan, Ravi, and Alan T. Sherman, “Statistical techniques for language recognition: An empirical study using real and simulated English,” Cryptologia, XVIII:4 (October 1994), 289–331.
  16. Konstantinos Kalpakis, and Alan T. Sherman, “Probabilistic analysis of an enhanced partitioning algorithm for the Steiner tree problem in Rd ,” Networks, 24:3 (May 1994), 147–159.
  17. Ganesan, Ravi, and Alan T. Sherman, “Statistical techniques for language recognition: An introduction and guide for cryptanalysts,” Cryptologia, XVII:4 (October 1993), 321–366.
  18. Baldwin, Robert W., and Alan T. Sherman, “How we solved the $100,000 Decipher Puzzle (16 hours too late),” Cryptologia, XXIV:3 (July 1990), 258–284.
  19. Levine, Robert Y., and Alan T. Sherman, “A note on Bennett’s time-space tradeoff for reversible computation,” SIAM Journal on Computing, 19:4 (August 1990), 673–677.
  20. Kaliski, Burton S. Jr., Ronald L. Rivest, and Alan T. Sherman, “Is the Data Encryption Standard a group? (Results of cycling experiments on DES),” Journal of Cryptology, 1:1 (1988), 3–36.



Additional Information

  • Editor of the Cryptologia journal
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi
  • Promoted to the rank of shodan (first-degree black belt) in the Japanese martial art of Tomiki Aikido, as certified by the Japan Aikido Association (February 1995).
  • Top Faculty Chess Player, Pan-American Open (1993, 1994, 1998, 1999[tie], 2001).
  • My Erdos number is 3 (one path of co-authorship with Paul Erdos is via A. Odlyzko, R. Rivest)