Students

I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing students. In the future, I’ll highlight some of their work here (or link to their own blogs).

Dierdre Pearce

Dierdre is interested in the implications of a pervasive digital network on individuals’ sense of self. She is using sculpture, installation and performance to explore what might happen when mental faculties such as memory, communication, cognition and sensory functions are delegated to, or absorbed by, larger external entities. In particular, she is developing ways of imagining her collected digital data in three dimensions, and speculating on the relationship between these and her biological information (such as DNA and proteins). Is her digital presence a copy, a portrait, a prosthesis, or something else entirely? Her research is based in visual arts and draws on ideas from biological chemistry, design, computer science and the humanities.

For more information check out http://dierdrepearce.com/

Kieran Browne

Kieran is interested in cultural patterns in data and their manifestation in neural networks, especially recent trends (i.e. deep learning). He is looking at new ways to make sense of the results of these processes. His research is situated between design, humanities, computer science and visual arts.

For more information, check out http://kieranbrowne.com/research/

Nic Donaldson

Nic is interested in live coding and systems programming. He is working with Extempore to explore how we can program and control powerful small, cheap ARM systems (such as the Raspberri Pi) interactively and remotely. The guiding question is “how can we interact with embedded systems after they have been installed, so they continue to be useful?”

For more information, check out http://nicdonaldson.com

Pavel Zakopaylo

Pavel is interested in software security and embedded devices. Falling prices for WiFi-enabled micro-controllers has created the Internet of Things (IoT): small, low-cost devices that frequently drive physical systems ranging from network-connected light bulbs to large-scale industrial processes. These devices have a limited runtime with very little encapsulation, which means even simple vulnerabilities can cause full compromise of the system.

The goal of this research is to develop security analysis methods of these embedded devices. In particular we aim to assess the security of ARM’s mbedOS, an operating system that abstracts over certain low-level security-critical components, such as the network stack. More specifically, we emulate the ARM core and its various hardware peripherals to enable fuzzing—a process in which large amounts of computer-generated data is input into a program until it malfunctions. Depending on the source of the malfunction, this information can be used to craft inputs that allow an attacker’s code to be executed on the device.

Prospective students

If you’re interested in doing Honours/Masters/PhD research with me, send me an email. I always have a few project ideas kicking around, but I’m also open to hearing about the project/big idea that excites you. Send me a one-paragraph description of what you’re interested in, and also a link to something you’ve made: a livecoding video, a project on GitHub, an academic paper—even an interesting blog post.