Secure Cyberspace and Autonomy

Enabling the World Through Smart, Safe and Secure Machines

Secure Cyberspace

In a networked, distributed, and asynchronous world, cybersecurity involves hardware, software, networks, data, people, and integration with the physical world. However, society’s overwhelming reliance on this complex cyberspace has exposed its fragility and vulnerabilities: corporations, agencies, national infrastructure and individuals have been victims of cyber-attacks. ISU researchers are examining the fundamentals of security and privacy as a multidisciplinary subject that can lead to fundamentally new ways for private social interactions; to design, build and operate secure cyber systems; to build secure software and computing systems; to protect existing infrastructure, and to educate broader segments of our society about cybersecurity.


  • Cryptography
  • Data Analytics
  • Formal verification

Focus Areas

student in data server room students at laptopstudent at computer


Autonomous systems for real-world applications are destined to have transformational societal benefits, including service robots, self-driving vehicles, smart grids, smart transportation systems, drones, smart homes, smart agriculture, exploration robots, assistive robots, and smart medicine. The advent of responsible autonomy will potentially make us safer and more comfortable, allowing us to perform everyday tasks more efficiently. A responsible autonomy explicitly integrates social, moral, and legal values into the design and implementation process of autonomous systems. Successful deployment of such systems requires them to act reliably in a wide range of situations. ISU researchers are exploring development of autonomous systems that can handle unexpected situations, foresee and overcome failures, intelligently deal with uncertainty, learn from their experiences, while being explicitly designed to be accountable, responsible, and transparent in their workings.


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data analytics
  • Decision making and control (Distributed and Centralized)
  • Ethics
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Public policy

Focus Areas

solar-powered robotInstitute for Transportation meeting flight simulator