Dr. David Thomson


I am currently on leave until 2023.

In 2019-2020, I was the Deputy Head of the Tutte Institute for Mathematics and Computing (TIMC), and in 2020-2022 I was Acting Head of TIMC.

TIMC's mission is to deliver research results having an impact on the most important scientific challenges facing the Canadian and 5-eyes security and intelligence communities.  Our main areas of research are cryptography and data science.

Current research and/or projects

I am currently on leave until 2023.

My chief mathematical interests are in finite fields and their applications to secure and robust communications. My research typically combines combinatorial, number theoretic and computational methods to discover new structures motivated by problems in communications and computer engineering.

Professional activities / interests

- Cryptographic Processes and Information Theory Area Editor (Cyber Defense Review)

Education and awards

- BMath, Carleton University (2006)

- MSc, Carleton University (2007)

- PhD, Carleton Univeristy (2012 -- NSERC CGS D, MSFSS)

International experience and/or work

- Fall 2022: Full-time Instructor (Penn State University)

- 2015-2016: Cross-appointment - Cyber Math Fellow (Army Cyber Institute), Assistant Professor (Department of Mathematical Sciences), United States Military Academy @ West Point

Key publications

- A note on depth-b normal bases (with J. Sheekey), in Finite Fields and Applications (proceedings of the 14th International Meeting on Finite Fields and Applications), 1-10.

- Unicyclic Strong Permutations (with C. Gravel and D. Panario), Cryptography and Communications, Vol. 11 (2019), 1211-1231.

- Artin-Schreier extensions of normal bases (with C. Weir), Finite Fields and Their Applications, Vol.. 53 (2018), 267-286.

- Existence of primitive 1-normal elements in finite fields (with L. Reis), Finite Fields and Their Applications, Vol. 51 (2018), 238-269.

- Complexity of Normal Bases (with S. Gao), Invited chapter in Handbook of Finite Fields, CRC Press (2013).



- Adjunct Research Professor (Carleton University)