UF Closed Friday, Sept. 8, through Monday, Sept. 11, in Preparation for Hurricane Irma

hurricane irma

The University of Florida will be closed Friday, Sept. 8, through Monday, Sept. 11, in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. As the state of Florida braces for one of the strongest hurricanes in history, departments are encouraged to revisit the university’s and their own emergency plans – or, if need be, to put one in place. Only essential university personnel should report for work on these days.

For the latest updates, please visit the UF Alerts website.

Prof. Domenic Forte Receives NSF Career Award

Prof. Domenic Forte has received an NSF CAREER Award for “Transformative Approaches for Hardware Obfuscation Protection, Attacks, and Assessment.”

The NSF CAREER program fosters the career development of outstanding junior faculty, combining the support of research and education of the highest quality and in the broadest sense.

Dr. Forte's five-year, $400K grant will support his research aimed at protecting integrated circuits (ICs) from threats to national security and economic growth, such as piracy, counterfeiting, and tampering. Specifically, hardware 'obfuscation' methods will be investigated to obscure circuit designs, preventing them from reverse engineering and unauthorized use. Education and outreach activities associated with this project include creating the first publicly available benchmarks, conducting online competitions, and generating new course materials, projects, and a book.


Hacking the human brain – lab-made synapses for artificial intelligence

"Emulating Bilingual Synaptic Response Using a Junction-Based Artificial Synaptic Device"

"Two-way artificial synapse mimics brain chemistry"

ACS Nano

One of the greatest challenges facing artificial intelligence development is understanding the human brain and figuring out how to mimic it. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that they have developed an artificial synapse capable of simulating a fundamental function of our nervous system — the release of inhibitory and stimulatory signals from the same “pre-synaptic” terminal.

The human nervous system is made up of over 100 trillion synapses, structures that allow neurons to pass electrical and chemical signals to one another. In mammals, these synapses can initiate and inhibit biological messages. Many synapses just relay one type of signal, whereas others can convey both types simultaneously or can switch between the two. To develop artificial intelligence systems that better mimic human learning, cognition and image recognition, researchers are imitating synapses in the lab with electronic components. Most current artificial synapses, however, are only capable of delivering one type of signal. So, Han Wang, Jing Guo and colleagues sought to create an artificial synapse that can reconfigurably send stimulatory and inhibitory signals.

The researchers developed a synaptic device that can reconfigure itself based on voltages applied at the input terminal of the device. A junction made of black phosphorus and tin selenide enables switching between the excitatory and inhibitory signals. This new device is flexible and versatile, which is highly desirable in artificial neural networks. In addition, the artificial synapses may simplify the design and functions of nervous system simulations.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office.

FICS Research Co-Director Selected as IEEE Cybersecurity Ambassador


We are proud to announce that FICS Research Co-director Mark Tehranipoor has been named a Cybsi Ambassador in Cybersecurity by the Intstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), “the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the result of humanity”.  IEEE.org

The IEEE Cybsi (Cybersecurity Initiative) Ambassadors are experts in various aspects of cybersecurity and represent the global community of researchers, developers, and users who are advancing the security of cyber systems ranging from small edge nodes to cloud-based servers. –IEE Cyber Security  Cybsi ambassadors are committed to disseminating their knowledge in their area(s) of expertise and are available to speak at both IEEE and other events. These Ambassadors are prepared to speak to audiences with various technical backgrounds, including student groups, non-security technical groups, and members of the public.To learn more about the Cybsi Ambassador program, other selected ambassadors, or to invite one to speak at your event, click HERE.

Below is information about Professor Tehranipoor’s initial Cybsi presentation.

When it Comes to Security, Don’t Forget about the Hardware

Abstract: Escalating concerns about hardware security are in part a result of the globalization of design, fabrication, and assembly of integrated circuits and systems. The complexity of today’s electronic components and systems supply chain has made it increasingly vulnerable to malicious activities, security attacks, and counterfeiting. In this talk I will analyze the vulnerabilities and threats, with a focus on challenges posed by emerging attacks and threats.  Potential solutions to addressing these threats and vulnerabilities are described. Finally, opportunities for securing hardware within different application domains, at different levels of abstraction, and at levels from nanoscale devices to systems are presented.


Oliver Wu Honored as Bradley Distinguished Lecturer

On April 14, 2017 Dr. Dapeng Oliver Wu was recognized as the Bradley Distinguished Lecturer at Virginia Tech for his talk on, "Multimedia over Future Internet:

Challenges and Opportunities.


Due to the explosive growth of the Internet and increasing demand for multimedia information on the web, multimedia transmission over the Internet has received tremendous attention from academia and industry. Transmission of real-time multimedia typically has bandwidth, delay and loss requirements. However, the current best-effort Internet does not offer any quality of service (QoS) guarantees to real-time multimedia. Thus, multimedia transmission over Internet poses many challenges. To address these challenges, many techniques have been conducted. In this talk, I will present efforts on 5G wireless networks, future Internet, and cloud computing for providing multimedia services over networks. I will also discuss the trade-offs of various approaches and point out future research directions. 


Dapeng Oliver Wu received Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 2003. Since 2003, he has been on the faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, where he is currently Professor.  His research interests are in the areas of networking, communications, video coding, image processing, computer vision, signal processing, and machine learning.

He received University of Florida Term Professorship Award in 2017, University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship Award in 2009, AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award in 2009, ONR Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award in 2008, NSF CAREER award in 2007, the IEEE Circuits and Systems for Video Technology (CSVT) Transactions Best Paper Award for Year 2001, the Best Paper Award in GLOBECOM 2011, and the Best Paper Award in QShine 2006.  Currently, he serves as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Network Science and Engineering, and Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Signal and Information Processing over Networks, and IEEE Signal Processing Magazine.  He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Advances in Multimedia between 2006 and 2008, and an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. He has served as Technical Program Committee (TPC) Chair for IEEE INFOCOM 2012. He was elected as a Distinguished Lecturer by  IEEE Vehicular Technology Society in 2016. He is an IEEE Fellow.

Karim Oweiss receives $4.2 million from DARPA

Karim Oweiss, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering, biomedical engineering and neuroscience, will also study the mechanisms by which cranial nerve stimulation can affect brain activity. Instead of using the standard microelectrode sensors, which don’t last as long as some longer learning processes might take, his lab will use advanced optical imaging. Specifically, live 2-photon fluorescence microscopy will be used to produce extremely high-resolution images of brain dynamics in order to map the functional circuitry in areas of the brain responsible for executive function, where neuroplasticity is likely to be most prominent. Additionally, optogenetic interrogation, a technique to drive specific brain cells to fire or go silent in response to targeted illumination, will be used to study the causal involvement of these areas in learning cue salience and working memory formation in rodents trained on auditory discrimination and decision making tasks.

Oweiss will collaborate with Qi Wang, an assistant professor at Columbia University. Wang’s lab will focus on the noradrenergic pathway — a neuromodulator widely responsible for brain attention and arousal — and the extent to which it is engaged when rodents learn a tactile discrimination task.

Oweiss’s project seeks to demonstrate the effects of vagal nerve stimulation on cognitive-skill learning and the brain activity supporting those skills, as well as optimize the stimulation parameters and training protocols for long-term retention of those skills.

“We want to see if it’s possible to promote targeted changes in specific brain circuits to accelerate this process by stimulating the vagus nerve, which sends close to 80% of its output back to the brain,” Oweiss said. “So if one knows that ‘brain area A’ talks to ‘brain area B’ when learning a new language, can we develop training protocols that promote the exchange between these two areas while leaving other areas unaltered? Then the person will learn at a faster rate and retain the skills for much longer.”

For more information, 




Dr. John Staudhammer 1932-2017

Photo of Dr. John Staudhammer

Computer Graphics pioneer and University of Florida Professor Emeritus, Dr. John Staudhammer has died.  He was a noted American Electrical Engineer and devoted educator. He was born in 1932 in Budapest, Hungary, and his family immigrated to the USA in 1949. He was also a member of the American Association for Engineering Education.

John received his BS in Engineering from University of California at Los Angeles in 1954, followed by his MS Engineering there in 1956. He obtained his doctorate at UCLA in 1963. He was a Professor in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Florida, Gainesville for almost a decade, and also helped start programs and collaborations with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China during this time. During his tenure at UF he was the Director of the Computer Graphics Research Lab (1980-95), Director of the Interactive Graphics Lab (1982-84), and the Director of the CAD/CAM Computation Support Facility (1983-89).

John’s 50 year teaching career began at UCLA as Lecturer (1954-60) in the newly established Engineering program.
As a student he was employed as a Senior systems engineer at the System Development Corporation in Santa Monica, California from 1959-1964. He became a Professor at Arizona State University, Tempe (1964-1967). He then became Professor in electrical engineering at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (1967-1980). Then he was a Professor (1980-98) at the University Florida, Gainesville. His career came full circle as a Visiting Professor at UCLA (1998-2004).

In addition he served as a Technical Advisor for US Army Computer Command (1976-77), Program director in systems prototyping and fabrication for the National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia (1995-1996), Engineering Program Manager for the Army Research Office (1996-97), NSF Program Director for Design Automation (2002), NSF Program Director Graphics, Symbolic and Geometric Computations (2002-04), and was in demand as a court qualified expert throughout his career.

He was a Member of ACM SIGGRAPH and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. At IEEE he served as senior, editor-in-chief of the IEEE Computer Graphics and Application magazine from 1987-1990. He received the IEEE Distinguished Service award in 1990, was a Life Senior Member (1995) and Golden Core Member (1996).

Over his 50 year career John was an author /co-author of books, 40 published papers, and tutorials. He was the organizer and lecturer at more than 200 short courses, colloquia, ACM chapter and IEEE Section Meetings on Computer Graphics (national and international). He was also the Principal Investigator on more than 15 grants/contracts with NSF, NASA, IBM, and Harris Corporation.

John Staudhammer is especially known for the many students he fostered and helped lead to careers in the computer graphics industry. Over twenty candidates successfully completed their PhD in computer engineering, applied math, and computer graphics under his direction as well as 75 MS/MEE degree candidates.

This quote from John summarizes his philosophy towards his students:

"I was a college teacher – yeah, I worked with computers, but I grew people.  My achievements were not the things I did, but the reflected glow from some of my students’ meteoric rise into the stratosphere of professional achievements.  I watched them with pride and often envied their successes.  I often wished I could soar with them.  But I knew that I was not to rocket – I was merely a launching pad.  I was not a rocketeer, just a stone cutter laying foundation stones from where to step upward.  My students needed to build their own edifices.  I just had to make sure we would not start on sand."

He is survived by his two children, Anne (Nickerson) [Los Angeles] and Paul [Eugene, OR], his grandchildren, Jacob and Sara [Eugene, OR], and his siblings, Josephine Laue [Los Angeles], Karl [White Rock, NM] and Fred [Los Angeles]. 

Biometric Security: Your Body as Your Password


In Biometric Security: Your Body as Your Password, Prof. Damon Woodard shares his thoughts on consumer concerns and the adaptability of biometric security

features on mobile devices and how researchers and engineers can mitigate their concerns with improved design.


Despite the relative convenience and improved security that biometric security offers mobile users, usability and data protection concerns

are slowing the technology’s adoption, says Dr. Damon Woodard, an associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department at the University of Florida.

Damon Woodard, University of Florida

Damon Woodard, University of Florida



Books Published by ECE Cybersecurity Professors

Two books have recently been publish with ECE professors serving as eidtors and contributors.

Hardware IP Security and Trust


Editors: Mishra, Prabhat, Bhunia, Swarup, Tehranipoor, Mark (Eds.)

This book provides an overview of current Intellectual Property (IP) based System-on-Chip (SoC) design methodology and highlights how security of IP can be compromised at various stages in the overall SoC design-fabrication-deployment cycle. Readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of the security vulnerabilities of different types of IPs. This book would enable readers to overcome these vulnerabilities through an efficient combination of proactive countermeasures and design-for-security solutions, as well as a wide variety of IP security and trust assessment and validation techniques. This book serves as a single-source of reference for system designers and practitioners for designing secure, reliable and trustworthy SoCs.


Hardware Protection through Obfuscation


Editors: Forte, Domenic, Bhunia, Swarup, Tehranipoor, Mark M. (Eds.)

This book introduces readers to various threats faced during design and fabrication by today’s integrated circuits (ICs) and systems. The authors discuss key issues, including illegal manufacturing of ICs or “IC Overproduction,” insertion of malicious circuits, referred as “Hardware Trojans”, which cause in-field chip/system malfunction, and reverse engineering and piracy of hardware intellectual property (IP). The authors provide a timely discussion of these threats, along with techniques for IC protection based on hardware obfuscation, which makes reverse-engineering an IC design infeasible for adversaries and untrusted parties with any reasonable amount of resources. This exhaustive study includes a review of the hardware obfuscation methods developed at each level of abstraction (RTL, gate, and layout) for conventional IC manufacturing, new forms of obfuscation for emerging integration strategies (split manufacturing, 2.5D ICs, and 3D ICs), and on-chip infrastructure needed for secure exchange of obfuscation keys- arguably the most critical element of hardware obfuscation.

Dr. David Arnold awarded the George Kirkland Professorship



ECE Professor Dr. David P. Arnold was awarded the George Kirkland Professorship in Engineering Leadership. This professorship is the first endowed faculty position dedicated towards acknowledging leadership education at the college. Dr. Arnold's demonstrated leadership in his research field and in service to both the ECE Department and the college make him an ideal recipient of this professorship.The $1M endowment, funded by retired Chevron Corporation executive George L. Kirkland and his wife Joy E. Kirkland, enables the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering to support a nationally recognized faculty member who exemplifies the standards initiated by the UF Engineering Leadership Institute.

Mr. Kirkland graduated from UF with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1972 and a Masters of Engineering in 1974. He has devoted 40 years to Chevron Corporation, starting immediately after graduation as a design and construction engineer and working his way up to executive vice president in 2005 and vice chairman in 2010. Under his leadership, Chevron’s Upstream business segment has become a leader in safety and financial performance.

“A great leader has good results over a long period of time such as with finance, safety, and [the] environment. [By] focusing on the organization, the leader brings together all technical functions. A challenge equals an opportunity,” said George Kirkland in a recent interview with Dean Abernathy.

Dr. Arnold is currently a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. Previously, Dr. Arnold served as Interim Director of the UF Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technology (NIMET). He received dual B.S. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1999, followed by the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2001, from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Later, He received the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta in 2004.

His research interests focus on magnetic thin/thick films and magnetic micro/nanostructures; magnetic microsystems and electromechanical transducers; and compact (<100 W) power/energy systems. His previous work has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the 2008 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) and the 2009 DARPA Young Faculty Award.

Today, Dr. Arnold is the current UF chapter faculty advisor and member of the Eta Kappa Nu ECE engineering honor society. He is also a senior member of IEEE and a member of Tau Beta Pi. He is currently Director of the Interdisciplinary Microsystems Group (IMG) and also Deputy Director of the NSF Multi-functional Integrated System Technology (MIST) Center. He also holds an affiliate appointment in the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. He is the Graduate Student Recruitment Coordinator for the department spear heading the recruitment of top tier students.