Bruce McMillin

2016-2018 Board of Governors
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Bruce McMillin received a PhD in computer science in 1988 from Michigan State University and a BS degree in electrical and computer engineering from Michigan Technological University. He is a Senior Member and a Golden Core awardee of the Computer Society and received its Outstanding Contribution Award. He is a professor of computer science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly UM–Rolla) and director of its Center for Information Assurance. His work involves fault-tolerant, secure, distributed, embedded systems for critical infrastructures, and he participates in smart-grid–related standards activities. He is extending this core work in computing and engineering into a Smart Environment focus that blends computing with the social sciences.

He has authored or co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed papers and has served as program chair and committee member on IEEE conferences.

He is an ABET Commissioner for the Computing Accreditation Commission.

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Phone: +1 573 341 6435

DVP term expires December 2021


Cyber-Physical Security through Information Flow

A Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is an engineered physical system with a significant cyber component and consists of many interacting distributed cyber and physical components. CPSs are deployed in critical applications, such as advanced power electronics in a green electric power system, vehicles in an automated highway system, distributed aircraft navigation systems, chemical process plants, and consumer components of a smart house in which correct operation is paramount. Unintended or misunderstood interactions among the components of a CPS cause unpredictable behavior, leading to serious errors. While each component may independently function correctly, their composition may yield incorrectness due to Interference. Interference that violates correctness or security is well-understood in the purely software (cyber) domain. In the CPS domain, interference is much less understood. Security and confidentiality problems are particularly vexing. Attacks such as Stuxnet show how formal security properties can be violated through physical interference with the cyber components. To add to the difficulty, CPS security is difficult to specify in terms of traditional “high” and “low” security.

This talk presents an interpretation of formal information flow properties and interference within the context of a cyber-physical system, blending both physical and cyber information flow properties across multiple security domains. This poses the deep scientific question: how to make such systems secure and correct?

Secure Fog Computing for Smart Living

Fog computing is an attractive model for systems in which people live inside the system with the goal of living smarter. Introduction of new technologies (materials, sensors, wireless communications, controls) without consideration of human behavior, health outcomes or architectural integrity will inevitably lead to failure of the rapidly changing built environment to meet the most fundamental needs: to be healthy, safe, productive and humane. Infrastructures are needed that are holistically designed to be human-centered and adapt to our needs and preferences. Utility and transportation networks must adapt to dynamic usage, traffic conditions or user behavior with minimum carbon footprint. A clean and locally sourced (renewable) energy grid actuates localized energy and power control. Pervasive security detects and prevents potential threats. Technologies are needed for managing living environments that proactively sense behavioral and health risks, and provide situation-aware responses to emergencies or disasters. Such a view embraces a bold vision of smart living that goes well beyond smart homes or even smart cities.

All of the desirable aspects of living require an Internet-of-Things (IoT) environment deeply embedding a wide variety of physical devices with computational elements and networking, working on the local level. Fog computing is just such a system-level horizontal architecture that distributes resources and services of computing, storage, control and networking anywhere along the continuum from Cloud to Things. By extending the cloud to be closer to the things that produce and act on IoT data, Fog enables localized control and decision making at shorter time scales with more resilience.

This talk will discuss how research into a Smart Living Fog encompasses researchers from engineering, computing, networking, social and behavioral sciences and a good understanding of ethical thought to be able to construct a safe and secure environment.

Why should I go to graduate school, and how do I do it?

Graduate school extends education beyond the general aspect of undergraduate studies, allowing you to focus more on specific topics of interest, to develop better critical thinking skills, and open doors to more interesting employment. This talk will discuss how you can have your education paid for, what the benefits are, what the drawbacks are, how you find a graduate school, and more importantly, an advisor, what exams are needed, and what you should do in your undergraduate study to prepare. Different types of career paths for masters and Ph.D. graduates are discussed.


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  • Cyber-Physical Security through Information Flow
  • Secure Fog Computing for Smart Living
  • Why should I go to graduate school, and how do I do it?

Read the abstracts for each of these presentations