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Research Areas


CESCA has three major Research Areas: Critical Applications, Embedded Systems Design, and Design Technology.  

Critical Applications

The group of  faculty working in critical applications focus on computing/communication/networking applications that have immediate impact on real-world problems and related technical challenges. Currently, three faculty members are primarily involved in this area -­ Yaling Yang, Lynn Abbott, and Jung-Min “Jerry” Park. Their labs are respectively named SHINE and ARIAS (Lab for Advanced Research in Information Assurance and Security). Recent and ongoing projects in this area are being funded by NSF, L-3 Communications, SCA Techniques Inc., SANS Institute, and Samsung Electronics.

Research Topics

  • biometrics and forensics
  • interoperability of networking protocols and systems
  • sensor networks
  • adversarial localization and location privacy in wireless networks
  • intrusion detection and integrity assessment of cognitive radios
  • PHY-layer authentication schemes for spectrum coexistence
  • policy-based dynamic spectrum access
  • coexistence of heterogeneous wireless devices/networks
  • self-organizing network functionality in 4G networks

Embedded Systems Design

The faculty in embedded systems design works on design  and implementation of artifacts using analog ICs, digital VLSI, and  FPGAs. They also work on design methodologies to address the design complexity of these designs. We investigate specific application domains that require pushing the technology envelope: ultra low-power and energy-efficient design, power management circuits for energy-harvesting, radios for wireless sensor nodes, and cryptography and security in embedded form factors. Our work is demonstrated through design artifacts: chips, boards, setups, and software that provide a proof-of-concept implementation.

Currently, two faculty members are primarily involved in this area of research – Leyla Nazhandali and Patrick Schaumont. Their labs are respectively called SEPAC and SES. The students in these labs work on sponsored research projects as well as graduation projects.  The research of these labs has been funded by NSF, SRC, NIST, as well as various companies including ETRI, Lockheed Martin, McQ, Pratt and Whitney, and Samsung.

Research Topics

  • Code compression techniques for low-power embedded system design
  • Efficient implementation of cryptography in hardware and software
  • Energy-constrained architectures, Subthreshold-voltage microprocessors
  • Hardware/software codesign in embedded and heterogeneous platforms
  • Integrated NEMS/CMOS power gating for ultra-low energy operation
  • Secure chip identification and Physical Unclonable Functions
  • Side-channel analysis and countermeasures of secure software
  • Ultra low-power devices using sub-threshold operations

Design Technology

The group of faculty working in design technology mostly focus on three aspects of formal methods – (i) developing tools for formal and semiformal verification, functional test generation for hardware and software systems, as well as for post-silicon hardware testing; (ii) formal modeling and specification languages, and synthesis algorithms for automated generation of systems; and (iii)  application of formal methods  to embedded systems design problems such as adapting formal methods and tools for optimizing power consumption, buffer usage, reliability etc; as well as for software security.

Currently, two faculty members are primarily involved in this area of research – Michael Hsiao and Chao Wang.  Dr. Hsiao's lab is named PROACTIVE.  There are currently 2 postdocs, and about 16 students working in these labs, along with a number of undergraduate research assistants. This research has been funded by NSF, SRC, AFOSR, AFRL, and OSD, and various companies such as Intel Corp, Bluespec Inc, Cebatech, etc.

Research Topics

  • ATPG, BIST and other post-silicon testing and test compaction
  • BDD and SAT Based engines for Formal Verification, and functional test generation
  • Techniques for enhancing SAT, SMT solver performance by invariant generation
  • Concurrency bug analysis by trace analysis
  • Static Analysis techniques for software security
  • Automated synthesis of monitoring and correcting components
  • Probabilistic Model Checking and its applications in dynamic power management
  • Probabilistic techniques for defect-tolerant design
  • Low-power hardware synthesis from formal specification
  • Application of model checking to power optimization
  • Formal specification languages and models
  • Abstract Interpretation based techniques
  • Behavioral Synthesis
  • Synchronous and Polychronous Models of computation
  • Software Synthesis

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CESCA Day 2016
April 23 (Sat)
Brush Mountain Room
Squires Student Center

Pictures:  main, posters

CESCA Student Awards
2016 Awardees

For New Graduate Students