Zhiyu Ni

I am a PhD student studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California. I am advised by Professor Pierluigi Nuzzo of the DesCyPhy Lab. I am at my first year of PhD, and my research interests are on hardware security and adversary machine learning.


University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA, USA
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering
August 2022 - Present

University of Science and Technology of China

Hefei, Anhui, China
B.E. in Applied Physics
Advisor: Cao Ping
August 2018 - July 2022


Hefei, Anhui, China
Intern in Machine Translation
March 2022 - June 2022

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Research Intern in Physics
Advisor: Junjie Zhu
September 2020 - January 2021


Finding Adversarially Robust Graph Lottery Tickets

The goal of this project is to find a adversarially robust graph sparsification technique to adress the problem that the performance of GLTs collapses against structure perturbation poisoning attacks. By iteratively applying ARGS, we found ARGLTs that are highly sparse yet achieve competitive performance under different structure poisoning attacks. We prune the perturbed adjacency matrix and the GNN weights by optimizing a novel loss function. Our evaluation showed the superiority of our method over UGS at both high and low-sparsity regimes.

January 2023 - Present

Risk-Aware Cost-Effective Design Methodology of Logic Locking

The goal of this project is to propose a risk-aware IC locking methodology which enables systematic and efficient exploration of a large range of design alternatives via rigorous quantification of the achievable protec-tion levels, residual risk, and their trade-offs with area overhead. By combining a set of locking primitives, it is possible to generate new constructions that outperform existing methods, used in isolation.

August 2022 - Present