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Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) are new class of engineering systems where computation and communication networks are used to monitor and control physical components. CPSs are expected to play a major role in the design and development of modern systems and initiatives, such as smart cities, self-driving cars, industrial internet of things, and smart power grid. However, given that the CPSs will greatly impact citizens' lives, privacy and security issues have come into limelight. Security breaches in CPSs can halt critical infrastructures and privacy breaches can reveal citizens' locations and activities, and hence securing CPSs is crucial for the U.S. national security.

This site aims to investigate both software and hardware intrinsic attacks in CPS. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to learn diverse topics which range from Blockchain for securing CPS to hardware attacks on deep learning architectures. The students will learn from an expert group of faculty how to design, implement, and assess research projects in areas related to security and privacy in CPSs.

Along with improving the research experience for undergraduates, the site also aims to: 1) train professionals in cybersecurity research; 2) support TTU's focus on cybersecurity education and research; 3) promote STEM research; 4) increase the percentage of female and minority students in STEM subjects; and 5) encourage students to the graduate programs.

Project Objectives:

Opportunities to conduct cybersecurity-related research and gain valuable experience in topics of national interest under the supervision of experienced faculty mentor throughout the summer.
Allow interns to self-assess their interest in cybersecurity and graduate studies.
Learn advanced subjects such as cryptography, anomaly detection, formal verification, and hardware security.


Cybersecurity-related research and short courses.
Professional development seminars and workshops.
Preparation of research papers and posters.
Academic career counseling.
GRE and NSF GRFP Preparation
Hands-on training with real equipment.

Topic Areas:

Securing CPSs using Blockchain technology.
Secure communication schemes for smart power grid.
Hardware intrinsic security threats in IoTs.
Security vulnerabilities in deep learning deployment.
Anomaly detection using graph streams.
Formal security analysis of IIoT systems.
Secure industrial control systems.

In Summer 2021, the site will be from May 24 to July 31.  Each participating undergraduate student will receive stipend of $6000 in addition to on-campus double occupancy housing (approximately $1,570), meals ($1,200), materials costs and a travel allowance ($600). The total is approximately $9,400.

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2021 NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)