Sandeep Avvaru’s Thesis Advances to Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ 2021 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition.

Doctoral candidate Sandeep Avvaru’s master’s thesis has been selected by the University’s Graduate School to advance to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) Annual Distinguished Master’s Thesis competition. He will also be receiving an honorarium from the University of Minnesota.

Sandeep’s thesis addresses privacy and security concerns related to electronic devices by shedding new insights on the fundamental properties of arbiter PUFs (physical unclonable functions). PUFs are lightweight hardware security primitives used to authenticate devices and generate cryptographic keys without using non-volatile memories. This is accomplished by harvesting the inherent randomness in manufacturing processes to generate random yet unique outputs. Although PUFs are becoming increasingly popular, modeling attacks restrict their usage. Sandeep’s work brings the PUF community closer to realizing secure, reliable, and unique lightweight PUFs.

Currently, Sandeep is working on the analysis and introduction of changes in neural activity to enhance cognitive control through deep brain stimulation (DBS). He is being advised by Prof. Keshab Parhi of ECE and Prof. Alik Widge from the Department of Psychiatry. Having always been fascinated by the inner workings of the brain and the nervous system, research in the area seems a natural progression Sandeep. He hopes that better knowledge of the cognitive control process will bring about improved and more effective treatment options. 

Sandeep’s doctoral research topic is supported by his broader interests in signal processing, computational neuroscience, neuromodulation and machine learning, all of which have helped him unravel and understand how the brain functions. He is a recipient of the the MnDrive Graduate Fellowship in Neuromodulation funded by the Brain Conditions area of the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) initiative.