James Gillogly

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James J. Gillogly (born 5 March 1946) is an American computer scientist and cryptographer.


Gillogly wrote a chess-playing program in the Fortran programming language in 1970, and in 1977 he ported the code for "Colossal Cave" from Fortran to C.

He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1978, receiving a Ph.D. in computer science. His dissertation was on "Performance Analysis of the Technology Chess Program".[1]

Gillogly worked as a computer scientist at RAND, specializing in system design and development, and computer security. He has written several articles about technology and cryptography, is currently the editor of the "Cipher Exchange" column for The Cryptogram, and was president of the American Cryptogram Association.

He is best known for his work solving or debunking some of the world's most famous unsolved codes. In 1980 he wrote a paper debunking the Beale Ciphers, and he received international media attention for being the first person to publicly solve parts 1-3 on the CIA's Kryptos sculpture in 1999. He also coordinates a large mailing list about the ciphers in the Voynich Manuscript. On the PBS website, they report that he has been called "arguably the best non-government cryptanalyst in the U.S." in the field of classical (historical) cryptosystems.[2]

Gillogly's Erdős number is three, through Emmett Keeler and Joel Spencer. His Bacon Number is arguably two, since he was an extra in Heat (1995 film) starring Robert De Niro, who was in Sleepers (film) with Kevin Bacon.

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