Amini, DeBruhl Earn NDSEG Fellowships


April 21, 2011

Third-year Ph.D. student Shahriyar Amini and Bruce DeBruhl, a second-year Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley, have won National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) Graduate Fellowships for their promising research in engineering and science. The highly competitive fellowship, sponsored by the Department of Defense, recognizes U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue graduate study in one of 15 science and engineering disciplines. Selection is based on factors including the applicant's academic record, personal statement, publications, community service, job experience, recommendations and GRE scores. As NDSEG fellows, Amini and DeBruhl will each receive full tuition for three years (as well as any mandatory fees), a monthly stipend and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance.

Amini works with Jason Hong, an associate professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, to investigate resource use and private information leaks associated with mobile platforms, applications and services. The approach they've developed takes advantage of information-flow tracking and analysis of mobile user interactions to better understand and describe mobile application behavior. In addition to studying mobile application resource use and information leaks, their research aims to improve the presentation of information regarding mobile application behavior and related privacy and security concerns to end users.

In his attack model work with Assistant Research Professor Patrick Tague, DeBruhl proposes ways for attacks to be more efficient and stealthy, which will lead to a better understanding of what type of adversary researchers are designing a defense for. Once he's designed more efficient attacks, he aims to design communications protocols that can infer information about the attacker and use this information to mitigate the attacks' effects.

The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, the High Performance Computing Modernization Program and the Office of Naval Research, under the direction of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. For more on the program, visit

Ph.D. students Shahriyar Amini (top) and Bruce DeBruhl (bottom) have earned NDSEG Graduate Fellowships.