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Office Location

805 Columbus Avenue
655C Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC)
Boston, MA 02120

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: Agnes Chan, 435 ISEC
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Research Interests

  • Applied cryptography
  • Secure communication


  • PhD in mathematics, Ohio State University
  • MS in mathematics, Ohio State University
  • AB magna cum laude in mathematics, Smith College


Agnes Chan received her PhD in mathematics and joined the Northeastern University faculty in 1977. She is currently the executive director of information assurance and cybersecurity. Her research focuses on cryptography and communication security. She has worked on designing efficient implementations on divisible electronic cash and efficient mutual authentication algorithms for small mobile devices. She works on protocols, key management schemes, and anti-jamming algorithms for securing communications among devices in a hostile, resource-constrained environment. Recent research focuses on examining practical algorithms to ensure privacy and security on open clouds.

Chan holds two patents, one on ultrafast pseudorandom sequence generators and one on software-based stream ciphers. She has also been widely published in IEEE conferences and journals, and in Crypto and Eurocrypt. Her research has been funded by NSA, NSF, DARPA and telecommunication industries. She has served on the IEE Information Theory Society’s Board of Directors and is currently on the editorial board of the International Journal on Cryptography and Communication – Discrete Structures, Boolean Functions and Sequences.

At Northeastern University, Chan led the effort in establishing the interdisciplinary Institute of Information Assurance with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2005. She was also instrumental in getting Northeastern designated by the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, Research and Cyber Operations. She launched the interdisciplinary master’s in information assurance in 2005 and the PhD in information assurance in 2010.

Chan has been active in promoting women in sciences, in particular. She was an invited speaker at NSA’s “Women in Mathematics” and “Alumni Mathematicians” at Smith College. She is also serving on the Committee for Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence at Northeastern University.