I am an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department at Rutgers University, and am affiliated with the Wireless
Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB). I am an applied mathematician by
training and a Texan by birth... But fate has a way of taking us on interesting
journeys, and I now live in the East Coast, where the ambient level of
capsaicin is far too low for
proper release of endorphins needed for mankind's survival.
I spend most of my time in the strange limbo land between mathematics and
engineering... Due to my training and expulsion from the world of the math, and
the fact that no one ever gave me the modern engineering kool-aid, I am strong
believer in the scientific method and its role in engineering... what does this
mean? It means that, although I love MATLAB, I think most theoretical
engineering papers are exercises in MATLAB, and I want to see something built
before I believe in an idea's potential to impact the real-world.
My group's recent focus has been to explore non-traditional approaches to
security by re-examining the conceptual definitions of security and privacy. In
order to devise new solutions, my group applies a mix of mathematical tools and
experimental design (again, MATLAB is bad, building in the lab is good). We are
currently applying our philosophies to enhance the state-of-the-art in wireless
security (particularly, in integrating physical layer security into wireless
systems), and developing protocols for a secure future Internet (I'll let
everyone know what this means when I figure it out...).
News and Highlights
- Hacking the Wireless in Your Car!!!
- We recently conducted a reverse-engineering of the TPMS (tire
pressure monitoring system) protocol and analyzed the security and
privacy implications. Our work appeared in Usenix, and was covered by
CNN and other news outlets.
- Ever Wonder Where to Park?
- Marco Gruteser and I led a team in developing ParkNet, a
system that can aid drivers in locating available parking spaces using
drive-by sensing. Our paper appeared at Mobisys, received the 2010
Mobisys Best Paper Award and was covered by MIT Technology Review.
- Waxing Philosophical: The Lecture Circuit
- I have recently given several lectures and seminars on wireless security. A sampling of them include:
- IDGA SDR Summit: My talk can be found here.
- UIUC Wireless Summer School: Yih-Chun Hu and I team-taught a
short course on wireless security. My half of the lecture can be
- Alumni Receive Recognition!
- Two graduates from my research group have received NSF CAREER Awards: Wenyuan Xu (University of South Carolina), and Yingying Chen (Stevens Institute of Technology).
- SEVILLE (aka, Physical Layer Security)
- In this project, we aim to use wireless-specific properties,
such as the complexity of the RF channel associated with fadeing
phenomena, to construct new forms of authentication and confidentiality
services that can enhance traditional approaches wireless security and privacy.
- AUSTIN (aka, Cognitive Radios Are Dangerous!!!)
Radios represent a powerful paradigm for improving spectrum
utilization. Unfortunately, these platforms are being designed without
restrictions to prevent arbitrary programming and manipulation by
programmers. AUSTIN is devoted to developing an architecture and a
suite of security solutions that can address cognitive radios gone bad.
The key take-away is that it is essential to build security into future
generations of cognitive radio platforms-- otherwise there is no hook
to regulate devices and prevent malicious programming.
- DARWIN (aka, Spreading a Little Jam to Make Your Wireless Toast)
- DARWIN consists of methods for diagnosing the presence of
radio interference, as well as defense mechanisms for coping with radio
- PARIS (aka, "Paris isn’t for changing planes, it’s for changing your outlook!" Aubrey Hepburn)
- In this project, we are developing solutions that provide
contextual privacy for wireless networks. PARIS addresses the following
critical contextual privacy issues: source-location privacy (where was
the source of a sensor reading located?), temporal privacy (when did
the transmission originate?), and traffic privacy (can meaning be
inferred from the size of the message alone?). The PARIS effort has
moved from its original wireless sensor network paradigm onto analyzing
fundamental aspects of privacy and secrecy related to monitoring
encrypted packet streams on general networks.
- MIAMI (aka, Military Communications)
is a large project supported by the Army to develop a wide arrange of
technologies to support military communication. MIAMI has involved
developing cognitive networking algorithms, such as a MANET routing
protocol that uses machine-learning and gateway association protocols,
to characterizing MIMO communication channels in urban environments and
using predictive algorithms to adaptively switch MIMO protocols to