IoT House REU Students End Summer 2018 Research with Poster Presentations

As the summer drew to a close, three Research Experience Undergraduate (REU) students proudly demonstrated the work they did at IU’s Internet of Things (IoT) House for the Security and Privacy in Informatics, Computing, and Engineering (SPICE) center at the 2018 Research Symposium.

This summer’s REU students worked on research projects related to IoT device security and improved product design through use of ideation cards.  Incoming freshman and current undergraduates from schools around the country, REU students spend their summers at IU performing research in laboratories throughout campus.  The students divide their time between classes and laboratories along with other support meetings that help prepare the students for academic success.

Niang Chin worked with IoT house project manager, Joshua Streiff. She tested home IoT devices, focussing on internet connected crockpots.  Using WEMO’s connection software, Niang was able to take horizontal control over other devices in the house, ranging from the lighting systems to the temperature controls.  In an effort to test the personal risks associated with improper control of the crockpot, Niang also tested fire risk dangers as well as attacks on energy usage and location identification.  Presenting her poster “The Overly Friendly Crockpot: Internet of Things Threat Modeling Analysis”, at the symposium, Niang explained the threats she discovered.

I was able to remotely control lights unauthorized as well as use the WEMO control panel to find out when a target user was home which is a very big risk.

Joshua Johnson researched IoT security perceptions in online reviews.  Taking two hundred Amazon reviews on ten selected IoT products, Joshua’s project sought to evaluate the level at which those reviews reflected interest and concern in IoT security.  Looking at word frequency and interrelations, Joshua looked at which products and concerns were linked and strong in user awareness, while others remained out.  His research culminated in the poster “Analysis of IoT Products via Amazon Consumer Reviews.”

Jesufarahanmi “Fara” Fadamiro  also worked on a qualitative coding project.  Using transcripts from designers who used SPICE professor Sameer Patil’s design ideation cards in their product development, Fara learned the tools and processes that change disparate comments into quantifiable Data.  Specifically, Fara looked for repeating themes related to usability and usefulness in ideation card usage.  His poster presentation was entitled “Privacy Ideation Analysis: How the cards are used to improve privacy aspects within the projects.”

In addition to research and classes, summer REU students also participated in SPICE’s Discover IU events.  Intended to showcase SPICE & IU’s offerings to the students, Discover IU held events, from the open house to trips to fabrication labs.  Unique opportunities like the Hackathon at the IoT house were counter balanced against community events including the farmer’s market and shows such as A Fair of the Arts.

Joshua Streiff, who oversaw the activities for the REUs at the IoT house, says

Hundreds of REUs come to IU every summer.  Our school hosts many of them, as does our center.  The experience is valuable for the students as it gives them a taste of what research work is like, as well as giving them tools and experiences which they take with them as they continue their education and eventually enter the workforce.

The REU students who worked in the IoT house this summer included Niang Chin, Joshua Johnson, Fara Fadamiro, and Shanelle Ileto who were only a portion of SPICE’s overall REU participants. We look forward to having them, and all the REUs, back with us in the coming years.