I was exposed to computers and software systems from a young age. In the early 1990s, you needed to be able to understand and execute system commands in order to interact with computers. Understanding how the basic components of computers worked together sparked my interest in technology.
Later, when I was studying computer science, I had the benefit of having several professors who believed in me and pushed me to work on novel ideas and software; their support led me to develop my first academic presentation and publication. The ability to work on new and interesting problems has continually offered me exciting challenges and created interactions with some really awesome people.
The beauty of research lies in the ability to learn from every detail, no matter how small. Constantly working on improving and pushing yourself and taking the time to learn new techniques are endeavors that have always resonated with me.
Day-to-day Work At Argonne
Why Cyber Security Matters
Cybersecurity continues to drive current events and spur the development of better and more efficient processes. Most of my current work focuses on securing vehicles from cyber attacks that could put the driver, passengers, or other motorists at risk. Cybersecurity takes many lessons from history in that attacks often recirculate in a periodic fashion. We look at the ways these attacks are performed and what makes them so effective. From there we figure out security features that may mitigate, or disable, these attacks in a way that improves overall security.
Other interesting work we are doing is analyzing safe and secure ways for cars to communicate with each other. In the future all cars will talk to each other and share driving speed and information on whether they are braking, merging, etc. We want to ensure that no bad guys can get in the middle of that conversation in order to insert some unwanted functionality. We also aim at making sure that your car does not give away any personal information that you wouldn’t want shared in any of these communications.