The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Wayne Burleson to Give Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Receive Chancellor’s Medal

Wayne Burleson

Wayne Burleson

Professor Wayne Burleson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been selected by UMass Amherst to deliver one of the prestigious presentations in the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series for academic year 2021-2022 and, in the process, receive the Chancellor’s Medal. The topic of Burleson’s lecture will be, "Embedded Security: An Ongoing Challenge for Healthcare." The dates for the 2021-2022 lecture series have not yet been set.

The congratulatory letter from UMass Provost John McCarthy said that “The Distinguished Professor Lecture Series and the Chancellors Medal have played an important role in recognizing our most esteemed and accomplished faculty members. The lecture series not only honors individual faculty members and their achievements, but also celebrates the values of academic excellence that we share as a community.”

As Burleson describes the subject matter for his Distinguished Faculty Lecture, “Smart and connected healthcare technology has enormous potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs at every level of the healthcare system. Internet-connected (IoT) medical devices such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, and neuro-stimulators make it possible to monitor health and deliver care anywhere, assisting healthcare professionals and gathering critical data.”

However, warns Burleson, security, privacy, and trust issues loom due to the highly personal health data at risk. The potential risks also include patient and caregiver safety.

“Embedded security solutions are being developed which use low-level security foundations based on physical attributes of electronics, new computer architectures, software stacks, and user interfaces designed for high security and efficiency in low-power and reliable applications,” explains Burleson. “These results extend beyond healthcare to include other critical aspects of modern life, including autonomous vehicles, power distribution, and smart homes.”

Burleson adds that UMass is leading a new multi-university Center for Ubiquitous Reliable Embedded Security (CURES), “which combines expertise in engineering, computer science, nursing, medicine, and public health to solve these hard, multi-disciplinary problems and deploy solutions in realistic testbed environments.” (May 2021)