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UT Tyler Among Best in International Cyber Security Competition

November 19, 2013

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

The University of Texas at Tyler performed among the best internationally in a prestigious cyber security competition at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University-Brooklyn, Dr. James Nelson, College of Engineering and Computer Science dean, announced.

At the 2013 Embedded Systems Security Challenge Finals, the UT Tyler Ninja Tyler Trojans placed in the top three among 11 collegiate teams and received a cash prize in the amount of $100. UT Tyler topped teams from eight other institutions including UT Dallas, UT San Antonio, Iowa State University, NYU-Poly and Grenoble INP – Esisar, France.

This is UT Tyler’s first attempt to contend in the competition and qualify for the finals. Dr. David Hoe, UT Tyler assistant professor of electrical engineering, served as team mentor. This past summer, he received a grant to research cyber security at NYU-Poly and mentored the 11-member team since August.

“To have our students do so well on their first outing is simply outstanding,” Nelson said. “I also commend Dr. Hoe on his excellent mentorship.”

The contest, held with other events as part of NYU-Poly’s Cyber Security Awareness Week, challenged students’ knowledge in one of the newest and most difficult fields within cyber security: testing and protecting electronic hardware.

To qualify for the finals, the team submitted a two-page technical paper discussing the best ways to insert Trojan circuits while avoiding detection. Chosen from nearly 50 collegiate teams worldwide that competed in this year’s challenge, they submitted three circuit designs prior to the finals.

“I am very proud of our student team,” Hoe said. “They were competing against some top engineering schools – many with graduate programs in cyber security. Despite the rather steep learning curve required to compete in the event, the students were undaunted. They spent many late nights in our microprocessor laboratory perfecting their designs.

“Their third place finish has validated all their hard work, but more importantly, it has given them the confidence and motivation to continue to tackle difficult problems in computer engineering.”

UT Tyler electrical engineering graduate student and team leader Mukesh Reddy Rudra of India represented the university in New York.

“It was a great learning experience to be able to compete among such high caliber teams,” said Rudra. “I wish to thank the entire electrical engineering department for their support, and I hope that the junior members of the team can enter the event next year and dominate the competition.”

Other UT Tyler Ninja Tyler Trojans team members are Lakshman Raut of Kilgore and Varun Nagoorkar, Lagadapati Yamuna Sri, Rajeshwar Rao Pinninti, Vrunda Tony Chitavaduta, Elizabeth Minu Joseph, Shyam Sai Prashanth Haran, Nimmy Anna Daniel, Mani Kumar Bikkumalla and Dinesh Veramachineni, all of India.

 The UT Tyler team will also present their results at a top engineering design conference, Hoe added.

For more information, visit https://isis.poly.edu/esc/.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 7,500 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.
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