I am a 5th year PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill, dabbling in hardware security research. I am fortunate to be advised by Prof. Cynthia Sturton. Currently, my research focuses on validating the security of hardware designs. The goals of my research are to help hardware designers efficiently build more secure processors that can withstand a wide range of attack programs in the field, as well as to provide interesting insights about hardware vulnerabilities to the community. I completed my BS in Microelectronics from Peking University, and my MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.



  • Computer Performance
    • Lecture in Computer Organization Course (COMP411), Fall 2018.
  • End-to-End Automated Exploit Generation for Validating the Security of Processor Designs
  • A Recursive Strategy for Symbolic Execution to Find Exploits in Hardware Designs
    • FMS Workshop, co-located with PLDI, June 2018.
  • Identifying Security Critical Properties for the Dynamic Verification of a Processor
    • Duke Triangle Machine Learning Day, April 2018.
    • High Confidence Software and Systems Conference, May 2017.
    • ASPLOS Conference, April 2017.
    • NVIDIA, Feb 2017.


  • Email: rzhang [at] cs [dot] unc [dot] edu
  • Office: 346 Brooks Building
  • Blog: Find me on Medium