The Engineer's Impact - Apurva Narayan

Your inside look at faculty’s research and its effect on society

In this new Q&A series, we’ll feature Western Engineering faculty members to gain a succinct overview of their research, understand its impact on society, and discover intriguing little-known facts.

Meet Western Engineering's Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor, Apurva Narayan, who has a joint appointment in the Faculty of Science in the Department of Computer Science.   

narayanCan you describe your research?

We are witnessing exponential advancements in the development and deployment of IoT systems, smart infrastructures, and our dependency on these systems. The overall vision of my group is to develop tools that will help resolve software issues much faster and advance toward better system safety, security, and resiliency.

Computational research in the domain of data-driven software engineering gets complicated with the amount of data one needs to process to reach an outcome. We conduct data mining, software engineering, and machine learning research focusing on safety-critical software systems to ensure that modern-day safety-critical systems are safe, secure, and resilient.

Moreover, with the advancements of AI, our research focuses on developing tools and techniques that ensure the trust and explainability of these AI systems. It is critical to understand these black-box systems before they are deployed on safety-critical systems.

How does your research impact society in everyday life?

Our research is critical for ensuring the reliability and transparency of complex software systems, including AI based systems. Our work ensures that any complex software system is trustworthy and reliable. Moreover, our work also focuses on developing software/hardware systems (often called Cyber Physical Systems) that are secure from cyber-attacks and self-healing. This is a crucial step in developing trust in technology and its widespread adoption.

What’s an interesting, little-known fact related to your research?

An interesting fact about our work is that besides being theory-heavy, we always find a real-world application to test it so we can see the impact. We work at the intersection of Computer Science, Engineering, and Statistics. But one thing that people miss is all our research has one common theme, i.e. it is dedicated to Social Good!