Professor Yanyong Zhang Elevated to IEEE Fellow

 The IEEE Board of Directors, at its November 2017 meeting, elevated Professor Yanyong Zhang to IEEE Fellow, effective 1 January 2018, with the following citation:

"for contributions to robust and efficient large-scale sensor networks".

Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for elevation to IEEE Fellow. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation. 

Congratulations on this outstanding recognition of professional achievement, Yanyong!

Mehdi Rahmati and Dario Pompili win best paper award at the 2017 IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad Hoc Sensor Networks (MASS)

ECE PhD student Mehdi Rahmati and Professor Dario Pompili received the Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS-2017).  Their paper titled “SSFB: Signal-Space-Frequency Beamforming for Underwater Acoustic Video Transmission” was presented at the conference which was held in Orlando, FL, on October 22-25, 2017.

IEEE MASS is a premier, annual forum for sharing original, novel ideas in mobile ad hoc networks and wireless sensor networks, defined broadly. Wireless ad hoc communications, Internet of Things, and mobile computing are increasingly being used in civilian and military applications in homes and businesses, cities and rural areas, sea and space. Wireless sensor and actuator networks are being widely deployed for enhancing industrial processes and management, for various forms of environmental monitoring and control, and for improving quality of life. Sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE MASS brings together researchers, developers, and practitioners to address recent advances in mobile ad-hoc and sensor-actuator systems, covering algorithms, theories, systems, protocols, applications, experiments, and testbeds. 

The paper is available at this link. A photo of the winners with their award is here.

Congratulations to Dario and Mehdi on this accomplishment!

Good Vibrations: Smart Access to Homes and Cars Using Fingers

Good Vibrations: Smart Access to Homes and Cars Using Fingers

Rutgers engineers create VibWrite, a finger vibration-based security system

“Good, good, good, good vibrations” goes the catchy Beach Boys song, a big hit in 1966 and beyond.

Now Rutgers engineers have created VibWrite, a smart access system that senses finger vibrations to verify users. The low-cost security system could eventually be used to gain access to homes, apartment buildings, cars, appliances – anything with a solid surface.

“Everyone’s finger bone structure is unique, and their fingers apply different pressures on surfaces, so sensors that detect subtle physiological and behavioral differences can identify and authenticate a person,” said Yingying (Jennifer) Chen, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick.

Chen is senior author of a peer-reviewed paper on VibWrite that was published online today at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, a flagship annual event of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The international conference in Dallas, Texas, convenes information security researchers, practitioners, developers and users who explore cutting-edge research. VibWrite paper co-authors include Jian Liu and Chen Wang, doctoral students who work with Chen, and Nitesh Saxena, an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The market for smart security access systems is expected to grow rapidly, reaching nearly $10 billion by 2022, the paper says. Today’s smart security access systems mainly rely on traditional techniques that use intercoms, cameras, cards or fingerprints to authenticate users. But these systems require costly equipment, complex hardware installation and diverse maintenance needs.

The goal of VibWrite is to allow user verification when fingers touch any solid surface, the paper says. VibWrite integrates passcode, behavioral and physiological characteristics. It builds on a touch-sensing technique by using vibration signals. It’s different than traditional, password-based approaches, which validate passwords instead of legitimate users, as well as behavioral biometrics-based solutions, which typically involve touch screens, fingerprint readers or other costly hardware and lead to privacy concerns and “smudge attacks” that trace oily residues on surfaces from fingers.

“Smart access systems that use fingerprinting and iris-recognition are very secure, but they’re probably more than 10 times as expensive as our VibWrite system, especially when you want to widely deploy them,” said Chen, who works in the School of Engineering and is a member of the Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB) at Rutgers UniversityNew Brunswick.

VibWrite allows users to choose from PINs, lock patterns or gestures to gain secure access, the paper says. The authentication process can be performed on any solid surface beyond touch screens and on any screen size. It is resilient to “side-channel attacks” – when someone places a hidden vibration receiver on the surface or uses a nearby microphone to capture vibration signals. It also resists several other types of attacks, including when an attacker learns passcodes after observing a user multiple times.

A great benefit is that a VibWrite system is low-cost and uses minimal power. It includes an inexpensive vibration motor and receiver, and it can turn any solid surface into an authentication surface. Both hardware installation and maintenance are easy, and “VibWrite probably could be commercialized in a couple of years,” Chen said.

During two trials, VibWrite verified legitimate users with more than 95 percent accuracy and the false positive rate was less than 3 percent. But the current VibWrite system needs improvements because users may need a few attempts to pass the system. To improve performance, the Rutgers-led team will deploy multiple sensor pairs, refine the hardware and upgrade authentication algorithms. They also need to further test the system outdoors to account for varying temperatures, humidity, winds, wetness, dust, dirt and other conditions.

By Todd B. Bates
October 29, 2017

ECE Research Day 2017

In an effort to highlight the research in our department, allow students to network with their peers, help them select an advisor, and also motivate our undergrad students to get involved in research, ECE Research Day was held on Tuesday, November 7 from 3pm-5pm in EE building hallway.

Both our graduate and undergraduate students participated in this poster presentation. Total of 53 posters was presented during the event. The event was attended by faculty and also selected corporate affiliates and Alumni. In addition, three most interesting research projects/presentations received Travel Awards to the conference. 
The best poster award winners were:  
Device Free Indoor Positioning Using CSI in MIMO-OFDM System - Tahsina Sanam 
Named-Object Virtual Network Design to Enhance Edge Cloud Performance - Sumit Maheshwari 
BarBot: An Automated Cocktail Maker - Zachary Csorny, Stephen Innis, Michael Lacsamana, Vatsal Pandya
Each winner received $300 which can be used to cover a conference related expenses. 

HKN Tutoring Night

On Thursday, November 2nd, HKN will be hosting a tutoring night and study session for all ECE undergrads to help prepare for the second round of midterms. The event will be held from 7pm to 9pm in EE203. Come out to study or just to get some homework done! Pizza will be provided!


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