School of engineering and applied science

Securing computers with lasers

Random numbers are increasingly important to our digitally connected world, with applications that include e-commerce, cryptography, and cloud computing. Quickly producing a large amount of truly random numbers to foil would-be hackers, though, 
is a challenge. Led by Hui Cao, the John C. Malone Professor of Applied Physics and professor of physics and of electrical engineering, researchers developed a 
compact laser that can produce these random numbers—based on the laser’s fluctuations—100 times quicker than the fastest current systems. The results were published in the journal Science.

Making artificial intelligence systems reliable

Priyadarshini Panda, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has joined a DARPA-funded consortium to take on challenges in microelectronic technologies. The Center for Brain-inspired Computing Enabling Autonomous Intelligence (C-BRIC) is a multi-university center led by Purdue University focusing on key advances for cognitive computing. C-BRIC’s aim is partly to enable a new generation of autonomous intelligent systems, such as self-flying drones and robotic assistants. Panda, whose participation is funded with a $500,000 grant, was brought on for her work on increasing the robustness of neural network or artificial intelligence (AI) systems—specifically, making them reliable enough to use for more autonomous systems. 

Professor named a “rising star”

The Biomedical Engineering Society’s Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group named Michael Murrell a Rising Star, an award recognizing a group of exceptional junior principal investigators who have demonstrated research excellence. Murrell, associate professor of biomedical engineering, focuses his research on understanding the mechanical principles that drive major cellular life processes through the design and engineering of novel biomimetic systems. Murrell was honored virtually at the 2021 CMBE Awards Symposium, an event that brings together prominent senior leaders in the field and promising junior principal investigators who are expanding the field. 

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