Dr. Michael de Mare was born in New York in 1969. He lived in New Jersey until he was 14 and then moved to his grandmother's dairy farm in Starkville, NY. He joined the Navy, got a medical discharge and went to Clarkson University where he was in Air Force ROTC. After graduation, he went to work in the technology industry, eventually ending up in the Silicon Valley in California. He went back to school in 2003 at SUNY IT and then Stevens to study cryptography. He is the inventor of the Dragonfire cipher and did the basic research for cryptography based on 3SAT, which is an NP-complete problem.