Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering
Office: Boelter Hall, 6731-G
Email: nsehat [at] ucla [dot] edu
My research interest is on the broad area of Security and Privacy with emphasis on hardware support for security and privacy. Specifically, I'm interested in computer architecture, IoT Security, embedded/cyber-physical systems, side-channels, trusted computing and hardware enclaves, and security and privacy in machine learning.
Prior to joining to UCLA, I was a PhD student at the School of Computer Science in Georgia Tech working with Professor Milos Prvulovic and Professor Alenka Zajic where I worked on Securing Computing Systems by Mitigating and Leveraging Side-Channels. I earned my PhD in Computer Science from Georgia Tech in 2020. Before that, I earned my B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2013. I joined UCLA since July 2020.
Best Paper Award, IEEE/ACM MICRO-49, 2016.
IEEE Micro Top Picks Honorable Mention, 2018.
Best Paper Nominee, IEEE/ACM HPCA-26, 2020.
Featured Paper of the Month, IEEE Transactions on Computers Journal, March Issue, 2020.
Second Best Demo Award, IEEE HOST, 2017.
DAC, 2020 (external reviewer)
HASP, 2020 (in conjunction with MICRO'20)
MLArchSys, 2020 (in conjunction with ISCA'20)
EMC2, 2019 (in conjunction with NeurIPS'19)
IEEE Transactions on Computers, 2018-Current
IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, 2019-Current
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I, 2019-Current
ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems, 2020
My research has been focused on improving the security and privacy of a wide range of systems- from modern computers to resource-constrained embedded systems. My work is interdisciplinary, spanning Computer Architecture, Security, Hardware Design, Machine Learning, Digital Signal Processing, and System design. The following describes them in more details.
Side-Channels: developing new methods to discover, model, and mitigate side-channels (both physical and digital/micro-architectural) on modern and embedded processors as well as on emerging technologies (e.g., NVM, PIM, 3D chips, etc.) and domain-specific accelerators.
Embedded and IoT Devices Security: developing efficient hardware-based defense mechanisms for protecting embedded systems, including new methods for establishing trust and attestation, monitoring, verifying, and profiling these resource-constrained systems.
Remote Computation, Trusted Execution Environment, and Enclaves: developing novel HW-SW methods (e.g., by leveraging hardware characteristics of the system, by designing low-overhead TEE, etc.) for secure remote computation (i.e., to securely execute an application remotely) on an untrusted resource-constrained computing device, and/or for securely verifying the status of the device.
Hardware-Support for Privacy-Preserving and Trustworthy Computation by utilizing novel HW-SW-Algorithm co-design methods especially designed for machine-learning applications and infrastructure-as-a-service scenarios.
**If you are interested in working with me please read this **
I'm looking for multiple highly motivated students who are interested in researching at the intersection of security, embedded system/IoT devices, and computer architecture. Ideal candidates should have some level of familiarity with fundamental concepts (or skills) in:
Security: cryptography, privacy-preserving computation, trustworthy and secure ML/AI, secure computation, memory safety, and side-channels,
Computer Architecture: processor design, hardware enclave, and cache/memory,
Programming: Python, C/C++, Micro-Architectural Simulators (e.g., gem5), Verilog.
If you are interested in working with me please use the following guidelines for contacting me (read it carefully please). I will try my best to reply as much emails as I can.
You can find more information about UCLA ECE application requirements here. Good Luck!