NPS - Faculty Profiles - Heading

Faculty Profile Directory


James B Michael

Computer Science

Phone: (831) 656-2634


Dr. Bret Michael is a professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School. Dr. Michael applies his expertise in artificial intelligence, formal methods, and distributed computing to advance capabilities for improving the dependability and trustworthiness of national security systems. As the chair of the Cyber Academic Group, Dr. Michael leads the NPS' interdisciplinary education and research programs in cyber operations. Prior to joining the NPS in 1998, Dr. Michael was a research engineer with the University of California, Berkeley’s California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) program (1994-1998), developing and demonstrating advanced vehicle control and safety systems for fully automated driving. Dr. Michael started his career in computing as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses (1987-1992), performing research to improve the applicability, usability, and scalability of engineering frameworks, processes, methods, and tools for developing and sustaining software-intensive defense systems. At Argonne National Laboratory (1992-1993), he was a formal methods engineer developing automated theorem proving techniques for use in real-time embedded system applications. Dr. Michael is the recipient of several awards, including the: IEEE Reliability Society Engineer of the Year Award (2010), recognizing his contributions to the field of trustworthy distributed systems; 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 contributions as the lead technical advisor and member of the editorial board that drafted the Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare (Cambridge University Press, 2013); National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal (2017); IEEE Reliability Society Lifetime Achievement Award (2022) for sustained contributions to the methods, tools and education in the reliability assessment of hardware-software systems; and IEEE Fellow (2023) for contributions to the protection of critical infrastructure. Dr. Michael received his Ph.D. in Information Technology from George Mason University in 1993. He completed the National Security Law Institute course at the University of Virginia, in addition to leadership and management courses through the Defense Acquisition University. Dr. Michael is the editor of the Cybertrust column of IEEE's Computer magazine and an associate editor-in-chief for both Computer and IEEE 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 - dependability, edge AI, reasoning under uncertainty
Engineering dependable, trustworthy systems - AI, co-design, cyber-physical systems, lightweight formal methods, edge AI
Security - reverse engineering
Wireless networks - 5G and beyond, 5G enablement of edge AI
Teaching Interests
Artificial Intelligence
Distributed Computing
Formal Languages and Automata
Formal Methods for Software Engineering
Reverse Engineering


  • 2023 - IEEE Fellow, Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers
  • 2022 - Lifetime Achievement Award, IEEE Reliability Society
  • 2017 - National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • 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
  • Drusinsky, D., Michael, J. B., & Litton, M, (2022). Machine-learned specifications for the verification and validation of autonomous cyberphysical systems.
  • Lanoue, M. J., Michael, J. B., & Bollmann, C. A, (2021). Spoofed Networks: Exploitation of GNSS Security Vulnerability in 4G and 5G Mobile Networks.
  • Thiem, N., Orescanin, M., & Michael, J. B, (2020). Reducing Artifacts in GAN Audio Synthesis.
  • Journal Articles
  • Weiss, J., Hood, M., Miller, N., Potorieko, C., & Michael, J. B, (2022). Using machine learning to work around the operational and cybersecurity limitations of legacy process sensors. Computer, 11(55), 106-111.
  • Michael, J. B, (2022). Understanding Conversational Artificial Intelligence. Computer, 9(55), 115-119.
  • Michael, J. B, (2022). Taking a Measured Approach to Investing in Information Infrastructure for Attaining Leading-edge Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. IEEE Security & Privacy, 5(20), 4-6.
  • Michael, J. B., Dinolt, G. W., Cohen, F. B., & Wijesekera, D, (2022). Can You Trust in Zero Trust. Computer, 8(55), 103-105.
  • Michael, J. B, (2022). Placing Trust in Automated Software Development Processes. Computer, 5(55), 78-81.
  • Michael, J. B., & Orescanin, M, (2022). Developing and Deploying Artificial Intelligence Systems. Computer, 6(55), 15-17.
  • Drusinsky, D., Litton, M., & Michael, J. B, (2022). Lightweight Verification and Validation of Cyberphysical Systems Using Machine-learned Correctness Properties. Computer, 2(55), 102-108.
  • Michael, J. B, (2021). Trusting Human-machine Teaming. Computer, 11(54), 104-107.
  • Michael, J. B., & Wingfield, T. C, (2021). Defensive AI: The Future is Yesterday. Computer, 9(54), 90-96.
  • Michael, J. B., Drusinsky, D., & Wijesekera, D, (2021). Formal Verification of Cyber-physical Systems. Computer, 9(54), 15-24.
  • Michael, J. B., Drusinsky, D., & Wijesekera, D, (2021). Formal Methods in Cyber-physical Systems. Computer, 9(54), 25-29.
  • Viega, J., & Michael, J. B, (2021). Struggling with Supply-Chain Security. Computer, 7(54).
  • Michael, J. B, (2021). Security and Privacy for Edge Artificial Intelligence. IEEE Security & Privacy, 4(19), 4-7.
  • Carter, T., Michael, J. B., & Kroll, J. A, (2021). Lessons Learned from Applying the NIST Privacy Framework. IT Professional, 4(23), 9-13.
  • Drusinsky, D., & Michael, J. B, (2021). Multiagent Pathfinding Under Rigid, Optimization, and Uncertainty Constraints. Computer, 7(54), 111-118.
  • 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), 76-84.
  • 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. IEEE Security & Privacy, 2(19), 7-13.
  • 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.