H. B. Acharya

Ph.D. 2012, University of Texas at Austin.
Assistant Professor, IIIT Delhi, India.

Research Interests

My primary area of research is networks and network security. In my Ph.D., I developed tools to verify and optimize network policies, such as firewalls and flow tables; I currently work on identifying faults in networks. I am particularly interested in the idea that controllers (as seen in SDN) are analogous to operating systems.

I also work with secure protocols, and am interested in the security of distributed systems in general. In the long run, I would like to explore how our knowledge of security in physical systems (such as sensor networks) and in virtual systems (such as CORBA) can inform the development of security architectures for the Internet of Things.

My research statement covers my work concisely. If you have time for a more detailed picture, my work on network policies and monitoring, as well as on secure protocols, is under the links on the left - please take a look!


I am primarily a teacher of systems courses - networks, distributed systems, operating systems. Given the enormous complexity of a concrete system, such courses run the risk of divorcing principles and theoretical concepts (which require high-level models - for example, networks represented as graphs with FIFO-channel edges) from implementation.

I constantly attempt to keep my classes as active as possible, featuring discussion and short, rough simulations (usually in Python), so that the "theory" class shades naturally into the lab and assignments. I also try to make sure at least one of the books followed is about "war stories" (such as Perlman's Interconnections), to emphasize that the material we study is alive and changing.

My teaching statement covers not only the courses I teach, and my approach, but also my general take on teaching: I believe a class should be led much as a conductor leads an orchestra, rather than treated as an audience and performed for.

Prospective Students

If you're interested in working with me, I have started my research group at IIIT Delhi, India. I am both a systems person, and an applied mathematician; if you want to hack and build systems, or to prove theorems, do get in touch!

If you're looking to join UT, please talk to my former advisor.

However, I would recommend doing some research before mailing: what does the faculty want to work on? Can you contribute to running projects? Faculty are very busy, so please don't carpet-bomb them with mail! If you learn about the problems that interest them before you mail, you are much more likely to be received warmly.

Current students:

  • Devashish Gosain
  • Satyam Kumar
  • Ajit P. Singh