Three ECE faculty win 2017 Google Faculty Research Awards
Joseph Park, ECE ILLINOIS
4/18/2018 9:03:12 AM
ECE ILLINOIS professors Nitin H Vaidya and Romit Roy Choudhury and ECE affiliate Ranjitha Kumar have been selected as part of this year’s class of Google Faculty Research Awards recipients. Their winning proposals are in the fields of machine learning and data mining, mobile computing, and human-computer interaction, respectively.
Privacy-Preserving Federated Learning
Both Vaidya and Gade are affiiliated with the Coordinated Science Lab. Vaidya is also an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Computer Science at Illinois.
Inaudible Voice Commands: The Real World Attack and Defense
Roy Choudhury, W.J. “Jerry” Sanders III – Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering, is an alumnus of computer science at Illinois (PhD ’06) who joined the ECE faculty in 2013. This is his second time winning the Google Faculty Research Award.
In his winning proposal, "Inaudible Voice Commands: The Real World Attack and Defense," he identified key security flaws in devices that utilize microphone hardware. The initial research, a collaboration among Roy Choudhury, ECE ILLINOIS Assistant Professor Haitham Al-Hassanieh, and PhD student Nirupam Roy, is explained in the video above.
Recent work has shown that specially designed ultrasound signals can be picked up by microphones, creating a "backdoor" into voice recording systems. This reveals dangerous implications as somebody could silently control devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home from a distance. The team's research aims to demonstrate such attacks and show defenses that can counter both existing and anticipated attacks.
All three researchers are affiliated with the Coordinated Science Lab. Both Roy Choudhury and Al-Hassanieh are affiliate faculty members of the Department of Computer Science at Illinois as well.
Design Mining Android Apps at Scale
According to Research at Google, the Google Faculty Research Awards Program "aims to recognize and support world-class, permanent faculty pursuing cutting-edge research in areas of mutual interest." Its goal is to "identify and strengthen long-term collaborative relationships with faculty working on problems that will impact how future generations use technology. Last year, four Illinois faculty members received awards, including three with appointments with ECE ILLINOIS.
Learn more about the Google Faculty Research Awards here.