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Dr. Scott Ruoti

Assistant Professor

Photo of Dr. Scott Ruoti

Contact Information

Web: TBD
Mailing Address:
Min H. Kao Building, Room 344
1520 Middle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-2250
Office Phone: 865-974-5449
Office Fax: 865-974-5483

Areas of Interest

  • Systems security
  • Web security
  • Usable security
  • Blockchain


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Brigham Young University, 2016


Dr. Scott Ruoti is an assistant professor in the EECS department at the University of Tennessee. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Brigham Young University in 2016. For the last two years, Dr. Ruoti has been a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. While there, he led a range of efforts, including acting as the chief architect for the Department of Homeland Security’s program that is tasked with creating a next-generation cybersecurity architecture for all non-DoD federal departments and agencies. He also led a research team exploring non-cryptocurrency usages for Blockchain technology. Prior to his time at MIT Lincoln Laboratory he had worked at Microsoft, Microsoft Research, Google, Blue Coat Systems (Symantec), and Sandia National Laboratory.

Dr. Ruoti researches computer security and privacy, human-computer interaction, and usable security and privacy. In particular, he is interested in researching how systems can be designed to ensure correct and secure operation when deployed to actual users. In practice, Dr. Ruoti tries to conduct holistic, interdisciplinary research that not only creates novel systems, but also addresses real-world human needs.

His dissertation focused on designing email systems that are both secure and easy-to-use, especially for novice users. In his work, he designed a secure email system that outperforms other similar systems in terms of usability, ranking in the top 15% among the hundreds of software systems subjected to a standard usability test. His design reduced user errors from 25% to 2%, and increased user understanding and trust in secure email.

Dr. Ruoti is also interested in exploring how to increase the security of password-based authentication and two-factor authentication, both in terms of theoretical security and real-world security. He is also researching using Blockchain technology to secure non-cryptocurrency systems, with an emphasis on low-connectivity environments—for example, using Blockchain technology to enable multi-national and multi-organization information sharing for humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts. Finally, Dr. Ruoti is interested in exploring how to help developers create secure software.

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