About me

I am currently a PhD student at Harvard University in the Theory of Computation Group where I am very fortunate to be advised by Salil Vadhan and James Mickens. I am also a Staff Scientist at Raytheon BBN in the Networks & Cyber Technologies Group. In 2018, I received my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.

At Harvard, I am part of OpenDP and the Privacy Tools Project. My primary research interests are in cryptography, privacy, and systems security. I am particularly interested in using techniques from cryptography to make systems more secure and privacy-preserving for the people they serve.


Other activities

I used to fly planes but haven’t in several years since moving to the Boston area. I’ve since picked up sailing and you can often catch me at Community Boating during the summer months! I also enjoy biking, watching sports, and playing video games occasionally.

I support and encourage you to donate to the research at Boston University’s CTE Center. This research is important to me because my grandfather suffered from CTE after playing in the NFL for over a decade. He donated his brain to the center after passing away.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Raytheon Intelligence and Space Innovation Award
  • National Science Foundation GRFP Honorable Mention
  • Texas A&M Undergraduate Research Scholar
  • NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (2015 & 2016)

Selected Publications

  • Private resource allocators and their applications
    Sebastian Angel, Sampath Kannan, and Zachary Ratliff
    S&P 2020 (Oakland), San Francisco, California, May 2020.
  • Towards decentralized and provably secure cross-domain solutions
    Joud Khoury, Zachary Ratliff, and Michael Atighetchi
    STM 2021, Darmstadt, Germany, October 2021.
  • Detecting vulnerabilities in Android applications using event sequences
    Zachary Ratliff, Richard Kuhn, and Daniel Ragsdale
    QRS 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria, July 2019.
  • The relationship between software bug type and number of factors involved in failures
    Zachary Ratliff, Richard Kuhn, Raghu Kacker, Yu Lei, and Kishor Trivedi
    ISSREW 2016, Ottawa, Canada, October 2016.


  • I’ve created a mini-CTF (capture the flag) for my website!
  • An implementation of Wei and Wang’s fast mental poker protocol from the CS227 graduate course in cyptography at Harvard
  • The first e-million digits of Euler’s constant using a spigot algorithm

Contact Information

  • Email: zacharyratliff at g dot harvard dot edu
  • Public key: gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv 1DC3B863 or use keybase