Cristina Nita-Rotaru

Professor of Computer Science
Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Northeastern University

address: Northeastern University - 515-177 (map), 360 Huntington Ave Boston, MA, 02115 USA
lab: Network and Distributed Systems Security [nds2]
Twitter: @cnitarotaru
Travel blog: unpacked

network security, resilient distributed systems, automated testing and verification of protocols; applications: critical infrastructure, connected cars, blockchains
``There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way.'' Christopher Morley

Cristina Nita-Rotaru
Recent publications: Recent talks: For undergraduate students:
  • Not sure if you should do research, read this.
  • Foundations of Cybersecurity (CY 2550) [www]
  • Distributed Systems (CS 4730) [www]
For MS students:
  • Interested in doing research, read this.
  • Want to know more about how to prepare presentations, read this.
Events I co-organized :
Recent grants:

[publications] [research] [teaching] [service] [students]


Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a Professor of Computer Science in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University (since 2015). Prior to joining Northeastern she was a faculty in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University (2003 - 2015). She served as Associate Dean of Faculty at Northeastern University (2017 - 2020) and as an Assistant Director for CERIAS at Purdue University (2011 - 2013). Her research lies at the intersection of security, distributed systems, and computer networks. The overarching goal of her work is designing and building secure and resilient distributed systems and network protocols, with assurance that their deployed implementations provide their security, resilience, and performance goals. Her work received several best paper awards in NETYS 2023, ACM SACMAT 2022, IEEE SafeThings 2019, NDSS 2018, ISSRE 2017, DSN 2015, two IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize in 2018 and 2016, and Test-of-Time award in ACM SACMAT 2022.

Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a recipient of the NSF Career Award in 2006. She is also a recipient of Purdue College of Science Research Award in 2013, Purdue Excellence in Research Award, Seeds for Success in 2012, Purdue College of Science Leadership Award, 2012, Purdue College of Science Undergraduate Advising Award in 2008, and Purdue Teaching for Tomorrow Award in 2007. She has served on the Technical Program Committee of numerous conferences in security, networking and distributed systems (IEEE S&P, USENIX Security, ACM CCS, NDSS, ACM Wisec, IEEE ICDCS, IEEE/IFIP DSN, ACM SIGCOMM, ACM CoNEXT, IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE ICNP, WWW, Eurosys). She was an Associate Editor for Elsevier Computer Communications (2008 - 2011), IEEE Transactions on Computers (2011 - 2014), ACM Transactions on Information Systems Security (2009 - 2013), Computer Networks (2012 - 2014), and IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing (2011 - 2016), and IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Systems (2013 - 2017). She was a member of the steering committee of ACM Wisec and IEEE/IFIP DSN. She is a member of the IFIP Working Group on Dependable Computing and Fault-tolerance and the Steering Committee of ACM SACMAT. She is the Chair of the Steering Committee of ISOC NDSS and the Vice-Chair of the IEEE Technical Community on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance (TCFT).

Cristina Nita-Rotaru holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University and a MS from Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania. She was born and grew up in Bucharest, Romania. She is an alumnus of ``Colegiul National Sfantul Sava''.


My research lies at the intersection of information security, distributed systems, and computer networks. The overarching goal of my work is creating and building robust distributed systems and network protocols that achieve their security, availability, and performance design goals in spite of misconfigurations, failures, and attacks. My research combines theoretical principles and experimental methodologies from distributed systems, cryptography, networking, information theory, machine learning, and software engineering to create systems and protocols based on provable guarantees and validated in realistic network environments.

My research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, ONR, Verisign, Toyota ITC, Visa Research, PwC, Google, Ripple.

For detailed information about the active projects check our lab webpage NDS2 Lab.


Current students: see here.

Former graduate students and postdocs that I had the privilege to work with at Purdue University and Northeastern University:

  • Postdocs: Reza Curtmola (Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2007), Professor NJIT; Endadul Hoque, (Ph.D. Purdue University Dec. 2015), Assistant Professor, Syracuse University.
  • Ph.D: Matthew Jagielski (co-advised with Alina Oprea), 2021, Google Brain; Samuel Jero, (Ph.D. Purdue University, May 2018), MIT Lincoln Labs; Endadul Hoque, (Ph.D. Purdue University Dec. 2015), Hyojeong Lee (co-advised with Prof. C. Killian, Ph.D. Purdue University, Sept. 2014), Google; Andrew Newell, (Ph.D. Purdue University, Aug. 2014), Facebook; Rahul Potharaju (Ph.D. Purdue University, May 2014), Microsoft; Jeffrey Seibert, (Ph. D Purdue University, May 2012), Google; David Zage, (Ph.D. Purdue University, May 2010), Intel; Jing Dong, (Ph.D. Purdue University, Dec. 2009), Knight Equity Markets; Mercan Topkara (co-advised with Prof. M. Atallah, Ph.D. Purdue University, July 2007), IBM T.J. Watson. Bogdan Carbunar (co-advised with Prof. A. Grama and Prof. J. Vitek), (Ph.D. Purdue University, May 2005), Associate Professor, Florida International University.
  • M.S.: Gokberk Yar, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2023), Naveen Muralidhar, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2021), Asad Salman, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2019), Connor Zanin, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2019), Anthony Peterson, (M.S Thesis. Northeastern University, May 2019), Berkcan Gurel, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2019), Caleb Wastler, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2019), Supraja Krishnan, (M.S. Northeastern University, May 2018), Luojie Xiang, Apple (M.S. Purdue University, May 2014), Camille Gaspard, CISCO (M.S. Purdue University, May 2009), Aaron Walters, founding partner of Volatile Systems (M.S. Thesis, Purdue University May 2006), Chi-Bun (Ben) Chan, Xilinx Inc, (M.S. Purdue University Dec. 2004).


Courses taught at Northeastern University:
  • Applications of Formal Methods to Security of Network Protocols and Distributed Systems (CS 7670) [www]
  • Distributed Systems (CS 4730) [www]
  • Foundations of Cybersecurity (CY 2550), Fall 2022. [www].
  • Distributed Systems (CS 7610), Fall 2020. [www].
  • Distributed Systems (CS 7610), Fall 2019. [www].
  • Distributed Systems (CS 7610), Fall 2018. [www].
  • Computer networks (CS 5700), Fall 2017. [www].
  • Distributed systems (CS 7680), Spring 2017. [www].
  • Network security (CS 6740), Spring 2016. [www].
Courses I taught as a faculty at Purdue University:
  • Graduate level: Distributed Systems [www ], Advanced Distributed Systems, Information Security and Assurance) [www ], Advanced Information Assurance, Cryptography.
  • Undergraduate level: Introduction to C [www], Introduction to Cryptography [www], Computer Security.


Conferences I am currently involved with: EuroS&P 2023, OSDI 2023, ASPLOS 2023, NDSS 2023 (co-chair of the Steering Group), EuroSys 2024, IEEE S&P 2024 (TPC Co-Chair)

Some of the conferences that I have been involved with: IEEE S&P, NDSS, USENIX Security, ACM CCS, ACM WISEC, IEEE DSN, IEEE ICDCS, Euro S&P ACM SIGCOMM, ACM CoNEXT, IEEE ICNP, IEEE CNS, SoCC, USENIX ATC, Eurosys, WWW, OSDI,

Some of the journals I was an Associate Editor for: IEEE TDSC, IEEE TMC, IEEE TC, ACM TOPS (former ACM TISSEC).

Chair of the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Committee (2019, 2020).

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