Crandall liked to call himself a "computationalist", for though he was trained in physics, computation was at the center of his life. He was most notable for the development of the irrational base discrete weighted transform, a method of finding very large primes. He was, at various times, Chief Scientist at NeXT Inc. and Apple's Chief Cryptographer. At the time of his death on December 20, 2012, Crandall was the Vollum Adjunct Professor of Science and director of the Center for Advanced Computation at Reed College. He was a pioneer in experimental mathematics, and was associated for many years with Apple and with Steve Jobs, and was proud of having invented at least five algorithms used in the iPhone. Crandall was also Apple Distinguished Scientist and head of Apple's Advanced Computation Group.
He was awarded numerous patents for his work in the field of cryptography. Crandall also owned and operated PSI Press, an online publishing company.
- Pascal Applications for the Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, New York 1983.
- with M. M. Colgrove: Scientific Programming with Macintosh Pascal. John Wiley & Sons, New York 1986.
- Mathematica for the Sciences, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass, 1991.
- Projects in Scientific Computation. Springer 1994.
- Topics in Advanced Scientific Computation. Springer 1996.
- with M. Levich: A Network Orange. Springer 1997.
- with C. Pomerance: Prime numbers: A Computational Perspective. Springer 2001.
- Wolfram, Stephen (2016). Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People. Wolfram Media, Inc. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-5795-5-003-5.
- Lydgate, Chris (December 20, 2012). "Prof. Richard Crandall dead at 64". Reed Magazine.
- Weege, Tez (August 10, 2001). "Scientists Envision Applications for Pi In Encrypted Internet Transactions". The Daily Californian.
- Foggin, Mik (October 13, 2005). "The Chameleons (UK) Frequently Asked Questions (note by Damian Ramsay)". The Chameleons website.
- Professor Richard E. Crandall; many of Crandall's papers can be found here
- Nicholas Wheeler, Remembering Prof. Crandall
- Stephen Wolfram, Remembering Richard Crandall (1947-2012)
- David Bailey and Jonathan Borwein, Mathematician/physicist/inventor Richard Crandall dies at 64
- David Broadhurst, A prime puzzle in honor of Richard Crandall