Bill Cheswick's Home Page

Photo of ches

I am interested in visualization, user interfaces, security and security usability, typography, tinkering, and science, medicine, and technology in general.

Almost anything in software can be implemented, sold, and even used given enough determination. There is nothing a mere scientist can say that will stand against the flood of a hundred million dollars. But there is one quality that cannot be purchased in this way—and that is reliability. The price of reliability is the pursuit of the utmost simplicity. It is a price which the very rich find most hard to pay.—C.A.R.Hoare

I love living in the future! (But I wish the software was better.)

Here are various things I am working on these days.

These days I am retired, hanging out at our farm in Flemington, NJ. I still work of various projects with various collaborators, and do things in the Mentor Project.

Recent appearance on TWIT with Leo Laporte. It has been a long time since I was on Screensavers.

Lorette and I live on a lovely farm in Flemington, NJ, where we have about 30 beehives, half a dozen chickens, two cats, good WiFi, lots of birds, and woodland creatures, and good WiFi.

I am working on various bee-related projects, including improving the Broodminder app for their excellent hive-monitoring hardware.

The Mentor Project. Bringing the technical knowledge of aging cold-warriors into elementary schools. Can I teach quantum mechanics to a second grader? (Hint: probably not, but the rocket science talk shown here, and others, have gone really well.)

Presentations. I do love to give talks and travel quite a bit doing so. Some of my recent technical talks for grownups cover Passwords and authentication (PDF, 52MB) and An argument for eventual optimism in security (Keynote, 52MB). I am open to suggestions if you have another topics in mind. You should check my speaker info if you want to invite me to speak.

ChesHaz, a free educational iOS app for looking up placards on vehicles transporting hazardous chemicals. It is easy to use, and works off-line. If you are a professional first responder, you should probably use an official app.

Melissopalynology, the study of pollen in honey to figure out where the bees got their nectar. Why? Because in August 2016 our bees made honey that tastes like butter! But was it from Verbena hastata (swamp verbena), or Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), both found in our wetlands in abundance that year, or something else? Here are the Keynote slides (287MB) from a recent talk on the subject.


CV, includes patents and stuff; Publications; Talks; Bio and short bio; A nice movie about me; If you'd like me to speak at your conference, speaker information; My blog.

Recent Projects

Older projects

Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker

cover of the second edition of the firewalls book The Second Edition is available in several languages. Details available at It is more fun to have written than to write.

Internet Mapping

small Internet map Hal Burch and I ran the Internet mapping project while at Bell Labs and Lumeta Corp. The thumbnail reveals more information, data, and a gallery of some interesting visualizations of the Internet.

These Internet maps have appeared in dozens of books, magazines, posters, and papers worldwide. Our technology remains at Lumeta, so you should contact Lumeta if you wish to use the images. I am always willing to discuss them with interested parties.

Recently, AT&T put up Internet maps at the Washington airports for the 2009 inauguration. These versions are not available outside of AT&T.

I am still interested in the visualization challenges these kinds of data pose, but am not working on it much.



ticket stub for United flight 93 on 10 September 2001

lot's of small images of locks This lock is your assurance of security.

Brian Clapper is a boofhead. Arden is a boofhead as well.