Two Research Papers at Design Automation Conference

"Hi, How Are You?" by Daniel JohnstonOur group had two papers in the Design Automation Conference, which was held in Austin, TX. This is the biggest conference for the design and automation of electronic systems. Our two papers were both related to hardware security.

The first paper “Arbitrary Precision and Complexity Tradeoffs for Gate-Level Information Flow Tracking” was a highly collaborative work spanning N. America (UCSD), Europe (EPFL), and Asia (NPU). This work started during my sabbatical to EPFL (Fall 2015 – Winter 2016). The research looks at the tradeoffs between accuracy and speed for different library elements in our gate level information flow tracking work.

The second paper “An Architecture for Learning Stream Distributions with Application to RNG Testing” described Alric‘s latest research to develop a low complexity hardware cumulative distribution function estimator. This is broadly useful for summarizing the internals of integrated circuits. The paper used monitoring the security of random number generator as an exemplar application, but it is applicable to many other domains.

Both Alric and Andrew did a great job in their presentations. And congrats to all the authors!

Oh, and by the way, next year I’ll be a part of DAC’s “Special Focus Committee”. If you have any thoughts on how to better make the program better (in particular, with respect to security), please get in touch with me. I would like to hear your ideas.

Finally, the picture is an example of “keeping Austin Weird”; it is the “Hi, How Are You?” mural from the great Daniel Johnston.

Wei Hu Begins “Post” Post-Doc Career

“Vinnie” Wei Hu has been in our research group for 4 years across two separate occasions — 2 years as a visiting graduate student (shortly after I moved from UCSB to UCSD) and the past 2 years as a post-doc. During that time he published many of the fundamental papers related to GLIFT and has more recently been the leader of our security research group. As anyone who has worked with him knows, he is a patient mentor and an outstanding researcher. He will certainly be missed. But alas all the best people eventually need to leave and go on to do other great things. Vinnie will be doing this as a Professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi’an. We look forward to continued collaborations with him and his students.