northeastern university seal

It has to be one of the wonders of the world that much of the infrastructure that facilitates the internet as we know it today is run on an infrastructure that was created in the 1970s and 1980s. Our reliance on technology and networking over the years has made cybersecurity and privacy one of the most critical modern-day issues for everyone — from individuals to large organizations — around the world.

“The world was different then; things like privacy weren’t baked into the system,” says Professor Kaushik Chowdhury of Northeastern University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). “Now that devices have gotten so much faster, but the core network is still the same, we are working to learn the proper offenses and defenses to keep our information and ourselves safer.”

Northeastern University College of Engineering, a top-ranked university and R1 research institution, is at the cutting edge of cybersecurity research with a number of research centers and institutes, and funded projects across the cybersecurity spectrum.

The university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, a PhD in Electrical Engineering, a PhD in Computer Engineering, and a PhD in Cybersecurity for those looking to enter this burgeoning, deeply specialized field. Master’s degrees in Cyber-Physical Systems and Information Systems also offer courses in the cybersecurity area.

Another focus for cybersecurity research is Northeastern’s Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things (WIOT), which is directed by Professor Tommaso Melodia of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“WIOT is focused on advancing research in wireless systems topics in our increasingly connected world and how they interact digitally as well as physically,” says Melodia. “We’re trying to advance the systems that create this interface, as well as the technologies that make this possible.”

Through WIOT, Melodia and his team are involved in Colosseum, the world’s largest radiofrequency channel emulator. Located at Northeastern and developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Colosseum is a data center that can emulate complex interactions, such as how wireless devices deployed in a metropolitan area behave and interact.

“Colosseum will enable us to create intelligent, autonomous, collaborative wireless technologies for everything from commercial to military use,” says Melodia.


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