Gabriel Torres

The nature of our work requires out-of-the-box thinking that will keep me engaged for years to come.

What kinds of problems are you researching or developing technology to address?

I am researching novel approaches to secure resource-constrained devices and systems while modernizing their cryptographic capabilities. An example of a capability we’re modernizing leverages recent advances in quantum-resistant cryptography (in other words, encryption that is unbreakable by a quantum computer). The National Institute of Standards and Technology is working toward standardizing quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms, and we hope to be in front of the trend.

What inspired you to pursue your area of research?

I spent the majority of my undergraduate time at UC Santa Cruz investigating IMSI-catchers (malicious devices that pretend to be a cell towers, tricking phones into connecting to them), and that is how I discovered a strong passion for cybersecurity. But I also really enjoy working with low-level systems that interact with the outside world. With that undergraduate project, I got to combine my engineering and cybersecurity interests, and I haven’t looked back. My project advisor, Dr. Darrell Long, was also influential and very supportive in my choice to pursue cybersecurity as a career.

Why is Lincoln Laboratory a good fit for you?

Lincoln Laboratory allows me the freedom and flexibility to tackle problems that interest me and benefit our national security. The nature of our work requires out-of-the-box thinking that will keep me engaged for years to come. I also love learning, and the Laboratory’s emphasis on teaching and learning has allowed me to take short courses taught here and full courses at MIT.

What motivates you from day to day?

My family emigrated to the United States from Colombia with the clothes on our backs and my baby sister’s diaper bag. After 19 years, we were naturalized in 2020. I do my best to validate my parent’s decision to leave their family, comfort, and way of life so that my sisters and I could prosper.