Celik earns NSF CAREER award - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

Celik earns NSF CAREER award


Z. Berkay Celik, Assistant Professor in Computer Science


Computer science assistant professor and systems security researcher, Z. Berkay Celik, won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for his proposed work titled “Compositional IoT Safety and Security in Physical Spaces.”

An IoT system is composed of multiple individual components, with each component containing a set of sensors and actuators governed by a control program. The inevitable integration of many individual system components programmed independently into IoT systems has brought new challenges that require urgent attention. The main challenge is to produce proofs of correctness that ensure the composite behavior of IoT devices in physical spaces—the environment in which sensors/actuators operate—adheres to desired safety and security policies.

Celik’s project integrates research activities aimed at designing and developing algorithms and tools that formally produce the composite behavior of an IoT system and a rigorous foundation for reasoning about an IoT environment's global safety and security. 

The specific goals of the project are divided into three research thrusts. The first thrust focuses on constructing a novel composite model by unifying the behavior of individual system components through a combination of static analysis and system identification techniques to represent an IoT system's global behavior. The second thrust aims to establish a rigorous foundation for identifying physical behavior-based policies and developing formal analysis techniques that ensure an IoT system adheres to safety and security policies. The last thrust seeks to establish a series of techniques to make model construction and policy validation scalable and exhaustive in diverse IoT systems. 

A common theme in all research directions is the adaptive creation and disposal of system components that allow for flexible configuration of added, removed, and updated IoT devices, programs, and environmental changes. Thus, the research activities aim to apply to existing software systems and guide future system designs.

The results of this project aim to enhance the current verification and validation practices of IoT systems, create a workforce skilled in securing IoT, and build trust in national infrastructure and protect citizens.

NSF CAREER awards are the organization’s most prestigious awards given to junior faculty who embody the role of teacher-scholars through research, education and the integration of those concepts within the mission of their organizations. CAREER awards support promising and talented researchers in building a foundation for a lifetime of leadership. Receiving this award reflects this project’s merit of the NSF statutory mission and its worthiness of financial support.

Professor Celik is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University, and is a co-founder of PurSec Laboratory. He earned his PhD in computer science and engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. His research investigates the design and evaluation of security for software and systems, specifically on emerging computing platforms and the complex environments in which they operate. Through systems design, program analysis, and formal verification, his research seeks to improve security and privacy guarantees in commodity computer systems. 


About the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University

Founded in 1962, the Department of Computer Science was created to be an innovative base of knowledge in the emerging field of computing as the first degree-awarding program in the United States. The department continues to advance the computer science industry through research. US News & Reports ranks Purdue CS #20 and #18 overall in graduate and undergraduate programs respectively, ninth in both software engineering and cybersecurity, 14th in programming languages, 13th in computing systems, and 24th in artificial intelligence. Graduates of the program are able to solve complex and challenging problems in many fields. Our consistent success in an ever-changing landscape is reflected in the record undergraduate enrollment, increased faculty hiring, innovative research projects, and the creation of new academic programs. The increasing centrality of computer science in academic disciplines and society, and new research activities - centered around data science, artificial intelligence, programming languages, theoretical computer science, machine learning, and cybersecurity - are the future focus of the department. cs.purdue.edu


Writer: Emily Kinsell, emily@purdue.edu

Source: Z. Berkay Celik, zcelik@purdue.edu

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2024 3:43 PM

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