The utilization of smart devices (e.g., phones and tablets) and wearable technologies (e.g., smart watches, health and fitness trackers) in our lives is continuously increasing with the emergence of new computing paradigms such as Internet of Things (IoT), Wearables, and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) devices. According to some recent studies, each person is expected to have on average five devices with an Internet connection in the near future. Given this popularity, in today’s Internet-centric world, these always-on, always-connected smart devices, IoT devices, and wearable technologies pose significant security challenges. For instance, an adversary can abuse these devices to access confidential information, spread viruses, and to spam or to conduct a social-engineering attack, possibly harming a legitimate user’s reputation and other users’ interest. Unfortunately, these devices are under the constant threat of an increasing number of cyber attacks. Hence, it is crucial to understand the threat landscape for these various devices and protect users’ valuable assets (e.g., accounts, passwords) from malicious activities.

Students in this REU Site will have a chance to learn the fundamental security concepts and investigate the security and insecurity of the smart IoT and wearable devices. The projects will be offered by 5 mentors and specifics will be discussed upon the acceptance of the candidates to the program. Below we list some potential areas that can be studied under these mentors:

Potential Project Areas:

  • Enhancing Security Issues in Federated Learning for Resource-Constrained IoT Devices Applications
  • Exploring Side-Channel Attacks: Assessing Security and Privacy Implications in Cryptographic Systems for IoT
  • Anomaly Detection Model for Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS) Security
  • Post-quantum resistant IoT Communications under 5G
  • Privacy-preservation for IoT Devices using Secure Multi-party Computation
  • Anomaly Detection in Smart City Smart Things using Machine Learning


  • Dr. Kemal Akkaya
  • Dr. Hadi Amini
  • Dr. Alex Pons
  • Dr. Muhammad Rahman
  • Dr. Taihudul Rahman

General Qualifications:

  • Comfortable with programming in open source languages and platforms such as Java/C/C++, Python, machine learning, and Android platform or prior programming experience with a strong interest and motivation to quickly learn new concepts
  • Knowledge/strong interest in security and networking/wireless fields is a plus, but not mandatory.