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Uplink: A Newsletter for the Faculty, Staff, and Students of the Coordinated Science Laboratory

March 2, 2015


Waldrop co-develops recently launched ExoCube satellite

An amateur ham radio operator in Germany detected this beacon transmission from low-Earth orbit the morning of Feb. 1. The signal, which simply spells out “XO3” in Morse code, is an exciting sign for Assistant Professor Lara Waldrop, who led a team of researchers in designing the spacecraft that is broadcasting the transmission. XO3 is the call sign of the ExoCube satellite, which was inserted into orbit at near 500 kilmeters by piggybacking on NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission launch Jan. 31.

Bailey wins ACM Best Paper Award for Heartbleed research

Internet security forums were ablaze April 1, 2014, as chatter started appearing about a potential bug in the security systems of many of the world’s top websites.

While high-level software companies like Google were already aware earlier and discretely patched up their servers, news was slow to trickle down to the greater web and gradually the rest of the world realized the severity of the vulnerability in OpenSSL, the set of security standards that virtually all web services rely on to protect information.

Research shows way to secure cyber physical systems via anomaly detection

Recent successful cybersecurity attacks, such as the 2010 Stuxnet attack on uranium centrifuges central to Iran’s nuclear program, have made it impossible to ignore the lack of effective security of cyber physical systems today. Cyber physical systems, including modern advanced automotive and avionics applications, power plants and industrial automation systems, have historically not been subject to software security breaches as they were not networked and were isolated from the outside world. However, today’s world is becoming increasingly interconnected, which opens up avenues for people to attack these systems. 

ITI researcher Sibin Mohan, along with co-PI Lui Sha, a professor of computer science and researcher in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, have recently been awarded a three-year, $500,000 NSF grant titled "Small Behavior Based Zero Day Intrusion Detection for Real Time Cyber Physical Systems," to help solve this problem.

Duggirala inspired by research giants

How cool would it be to meet and chat with the biggest names in computer science and mathematics—people like Internet architect Vinton Cerf or computer graphics pioneer Ivan Sutherland? Three CS @ ILLINOIS researchers, including CSL graduate student Sridhar Duggirala, found out last fall when they attended the second annual Heidelberg Laureates Forum in Germany.

Jump ARCHES funds Huang's 3-D avatar project

Professor Emeritus Thomas S. Huang, who still works as a research professor, is working on a 3-D computer-generated person that would deliver medical information to patients. This project is one of two to be funded by Jump ARCHES, or Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation. Huang and team member Dr. Ann Willemsen-Dunlap, Director of Interprofessional Education at Jump and a UICOMP faculty member, will receive nearly $50,000 for their research. They are developing a 3-D audio-visual avatar capable of showing appropriate emotions. It will be used online to help patients understand their specific medical information, such as test results and medical guidance.

Around CSL

  • Let us know about your "WOW" worthy accomplishments! We think you're great and we want everyone else to know too. Whether it's a new research grant, awards, accolades, novel research or education experiences, send us the highlights at wow@csl.illinois.edu.

  • The Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) research project is excited to offer our fourth summer school, to be held June 15-19, 2015. To register or to learn more about sponsorship or scholarship opportunities, visit: http://tcipg.org//2015-summer-school.

  • Register now for HOTSOS 2015, a research event centered on the Science of Security, which aims to address the fundamental problems of security in a principled manner. It'll be held April 21-22 at Illinois.

  • Students - Register for an ICSSP Informational Session on March 5. You can get free pizza and learn how to get your tuition covered, all while preparing for a career in a rapidly growing field: go.illinois.edu/icssp.

New Gifts/Grants

  • Romit Roy Choudhury, "Evaluating Performance of Localization Techniques in the Real World," 1 year, $60,000, HP.

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