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James B Michael

Phone: (831) 656-2634


Dr. James Bret Michael is a professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School, where for the past twenty-two years he has conducted applied research on dependable and secure computing as it applies to artificial intelligence, distributed systems, and embedded systems. Prior to joining NPS in 1998, he was an assistant researcher engineer with the University of California at Berkeley’s California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways program (1994-1998), performing research on advanced vehicle control and safety systems for fully automated driving. While at Berkeley he was selected to represent the university as a visiting scholar at the French National Institute for Research on Transportation Safety and Ergonomics (in Lyon, 1995-1996), collaborating with academics, government leaders, and industry to frame and advance France’s research and development program for automated highway systems. Dr. Michael started his career as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses (1987-1992), carrying out research to advance the applicability, usability, and scalability of frameworks, processes, methods, and tools for developing and sustaining large-scale distributed software-intensive systems. With the fairly unique title at the time of formal methods engineer, form 1992 through 1993 at Argonne National Laboratory Dr. Michael investigated the technical feasibility of using anytime theorem proving techniques in real-time embedded systems. In 1997 the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers elevated him to the rank of Senior Member. In 2008 he received a Letter of Commendation from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research Development and Acquisition, Chief Systems Engineer, for his contributions to the Navy Software Process Improvement Initiative and acquisition reform. He received the 2010 Engineer of the Year Award, recognizing his contributions to the field of trustworthy distributed systems. In 2013 he received the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his leadership in advancing the state of the art and practice of cyber operations, including his service as the lead technical advisor and member of the editorial board that drafted the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. Dr. Michael received his Ph.D. in Information Technology from George Mason University in 1993. He completed postdoctoral studies in National Security Law at the University of Virginia, in addition to Leadership and Management courses from the Harvard Business School through the Defense Acquisition University. Dr. Michael is currently Vice President of Publications for the IEEE Reliability Society, the editor of the Cybertrust column of Computer magazine, and an Associate Editor-in-Chief for both Computer and Security & Privacy magazines. He has published over 200 refereed technical papers.
  • PhD - George Mason University 1993
    Major: Information Technology
    Dissertation Title: A formal process for testing the consistency of composed security policies
NPS Experience
  • 2007 - current: Professor
  • 1998 - 2007: Associate Professor
Other Experience
  • 1995 - 1996 Visiting Scholar, Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Securite (France)
  • 1994 - 1998 Assistant Research Engineer, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1993 - 1993 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • 1992 - 1993 Formal Methods Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 1987 - 1992 Member of the Research Staff, Institute for Defense Analyses
Research Interests
Artificial intelligence
Engineering trusted systems
Technical, legal, and policy aspects of military operations in cyberspace
Teaching Interests
Artificial Intelligence
Distributed Computing
Embedded Systems Design
Formal Languages and Automata
Formal Methods for Software Engineering
Reverse Engineering


  • 2013 - Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Department of the Navy
  • 2011 - 2010 Engineer of the Year Award, IEEE Reliability Society
  • 2008 - Letter of Commendation from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research Development and Acquisition, Chief Systems Engineer, Department of the Navy
  • 2008 - Best Paper Award, IEEE Int. Conf. on Secure Systems Integration and Reliability Improvement
  • 2003 - 2002 NPS Outstanding Research Achievement in Computer Science Award, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 1997 - Senior Member, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

Boards, Memberships, & Certifications

Professional Memberships
  • 1987 Senior Member, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers

Scholarly Work

  • Books
  • Michael, J. B, (2017). Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations. Cambridge United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Thiem, N., Orescanin, M., & Michael, J. B, (2020). Reducing Artifacts in GAN Audio Synthesis.
  • Journal Articles
  • Kroll, J. A., Michael, J. B., & Thaw, D. B, (2021). Enhancing Cybersecurity via Artificial Intelligence: Risks, Rewards, and Frameworks. Computer, 6(54).
  • DeFranco, J. F., Eagle, C. S., Michael, J. B., Viega, J., & Voas, J. M, (2021). Hackathons 101. Computer, 5(54).
  • Lanoue, M., Bollmann, C. A., Michael, J. B., Roth, J. D., & Wijesekera, D, (2021). An Attack Vector Taxonomy for Mobile Telephony Security Vulnerabilities. Computer, 4(54).
  • Riehle, R. D., & Michael, J. B, (2021). Improving the Trustworthiness of Software through Rigorous Data Type Design. Computer, 1(54), 89-95.
  • Michael, J. B., & Voas, J, (2020). Algorithms, Algorithms, Algorithms. Computer, 11(53), 13-15.
  • Michael, J. B., Kuhn, R., & Voas, J, (2020). Security or Privacy: Can You Have Both? Computer, 9(53), 20-30.
  • Michael, J. B., Kuhn, R., & Voas, J, (2020). Cyberthreats in 2025. Computer, 6(53), 16-27.
  • Michael, J. B, (2020). Practical Aspects of Employing Antireverse Engineering. IT Professional, 3(22), 11-13.
  • Michael, J. B., Dinolt, G. W., & Drusinsky, D, (2020). Open questions in formal methods. Computer, 05(53), 81-84.
  • Drusinsky, D., & Michael, J. B, (2020). Obtaining Trust in Executable Derivatives Using Crowdsourced Critiques With Blind Signatures. Computer, 04(53), 51-56.
  • Michael, J. B., & Peitso, L. E, (2020). The Promise of Interactive Shared Augmented Reality. Computer, 1(53), 45-52.
  • Michael, J. B, (2019). Assessing the Trustworthiness of Electronic Systems. Computer, 11(52), 80-83.
  • Michael, J. B, (2019). Trustworthiness of Autonomous Machines in Armed Conflict. IEEE Security & Privacy, 6(17), 4-6.
  • Lutton, C. E., Roth, J. D., & Michael, J. B, (2019). Security Through Simplicity: A Case Study in Logical Segmentation Inference. Computer, 7(52), 76-79.
  • Michael, J. B, (2015). Trusted Computing: An Elusive Goal. Computer, 3(43), 99-101.
  • Magazines/Trade Publications
  • Denning, P. J., Drusinsky, D., & Michael, J. B, Dilemmas in military AI.
  • Peisert, S., Schneier, B., Okhravi, H., Massacci, F., Benzel, T., Landwehr, C., Mannan, M., Mirkovic, J., Prakash, A., & Michael, J. B, (2021). Perspectives on the SolarWinds Incident.