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Integrating Emerging Cryptographic Engineering Research and Security Education

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Digital Systems Education 1

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.989.1 - 26.989.13



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Paper Authors


Mehran Mozaffari Kermani Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Mehran Mozaffari Kermani received the B.Sc. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 2005, and the M.E.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. He joined the Advanced Micro Devices as a senior ASIC/layout designer, integrating sophisticated security/cryptographic capabilities into a single accelerated processing unit.

In 2012, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department, Princeton University, New Jersey, as an NSERC post-doctoral research fellow. Currently, he is with the Department of Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. His current research interests include emerging security/privacy measures for deeply embedded systems, cryptographic hardware systems, fault diagnosis and tolerance in cryptographic hardware, VLSI reliability, and low-power secure and efficient FPGA and ASIC designs.

Currently, he is serving as an Associate Editor for the ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems and the lead Guest Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics for the special issue of Emerging Security Trends for Biomedical Computations, Devices, and Infrastructures (2015 and 2016). Moreover, he has served as the lead Guest Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computing for the special issue of Emerging Security Trends for Deeply-Embedded Computing Systems (2014 and 2015). He is currently serving as the technical committee member for a number of related conferences including DFT, FDTC, RFIDsec, LightSEC, and WAIFI.

He was a recipient of the prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in 2011 and the Texas Instruments Faculty Award (Douglas Harvey) in 2014.

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Reza Azarderakhsh Rochester Institute of technology

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Reza Azarderakhsh received the BSc degree in electrical and electronic engineering in 2002, the MSc degree in computer engineering from the
Sharif University of Technology in 2005, and the PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Western Ontario in
2011. He was with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Western Ontario, as a Limited Duties Instructor, in 2011.
He was a recipient of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in 2012. He has been an
NSERC post-doctoral research fellow with the Center for Applied Cryptographic
Research at the Department of Combinatorics and Optimization, University of Waterloo. Currently, he is a faculty member with the Department of Computer Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. His current research interests include finite field and its application, high-performance computation, elliptic curve cryptography, and pairing based cryptography. He is a member of the IEEE.

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Integrating Emerging Cryptographic Engineering Research and Security EducationUnlike traditional embedded systems such as secure smart cards, emerging secure deeply-embedded systems, e.g., implantable and wearable medical devices, have larger “attack surface”.A security breach in such systems which are embedded deeply in human bodies or objects wouldbe life-threatening, for which adopting traditional solutions might not be practical due to tightconstraints of these often-battery-powered systems. Unfortunately, although emergingcryptographic engineering research mechanisms have started solving this critical problem,university education (at both graduate and undergraduate level) lags comparably. One of thepivotal reasons for such a lag is the multi-disciplinary nature of the emerging securitybottlenecks (mathematics, engineering, science, and medicine, to name a few). Based on theaforementioned motivation, in this work, we present an effective research and educationintegration strategy to overcome this issue.Although there have been previous efforts for integrating research and teaching in traditionalsecurity, to the best of our knowledge, a practical solution and an effective assessment strategyhave not been adopted for emerging cryptographic engineering integration. Our pedagogicalhypothesis is that emerging cryptographic engineering research which aims at solving securitybreaches in deeply-embedded systems can be integrated in university education considering twoteaching and learning approaches; (a). Developing a respective multi-disciplinary laboratory forboth research and teaching of general and hardware/software security, and (b). Advancingeducation through inter- and intra-university research collaborations. It is noted that the authorsof the proposed work are from different and diverse backgrounds and have prior expertise in thetopic proposed and have been with world-known security and cryptography groups.The assessment strategy for the proposed integration is two-fold. A pilot project has beendeveloped for the theoretical evaluations using implantable cochlear medical devices through thewell-known center for hard-of-hearing students at the authors’ university. The securityassessment is based on the resources in the already-developed “Applied Cryptography”laboratory; the research is conducted by the graduate students. As future work, the experimentswill be part of two relevant graduate/undergraduate courses taught by the authors. The form ofoutcome of the assessment will be mostly in programming languages specially hardwaredescription languages of cryptographic algorithms developed in the courses as final projects.The evaluation of success of integration of research and teaching is performed by a group ofresearch/teaching faculty members from diverse departments (Electrical, Computer Engineering,Security, and Computer Science as well as Biomedical Engineering). The results will be placedon the world-wide web for advancing global education and with the aim of possibleimprovement from both research and education communities. A closely-monitored datamanagement plan will be pursued for quality assurance of data which could be possibly modifiedby engineering industry and academia. Finally, the eventual outcome of this integration is a step-forward to fill the current gap of research in and education of emerging security mechanisms.

Mozaffari Kermani, M., & Azarderakhsh, R. (2015, June), Integrating Emerging Cryptographic Engineering Research and Security Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24326

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