Boulat Bash

Assistant Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
University of Arizona

b o u l a t @ e m a i l . a r i z o n a . e d u

Research assistantships and post-doctoral opportunities: I am currently looking for motivated graduate students and post-docs to work on the theoretical and experimental aspects of secure communication and sensing. Perspective graduate students should review the requirements for admission and apply on the UofA website, indicating on the application that they are interested in working with me. Unfortunately, I cannot consider hiring graduate research assistants before a formal admission decision is made (thus, I cannot answer such questions as "will I be hired as a research assistant" over email).

Research Interests: My reseach focuses on classical and quantum information-theoretic analysis of covert or low probability of detection/intercept (LPD/LPI) communications and sensing. I am broadly interested in applications of information theory to practical problems of reliability and security. Specifically, I study the limits of communications and sensing with signals that are mathematically secure, and push towards these limits by engineering experimental and prototype systems. I collaborate closely with experts in radio and optical systems engineering. While most of my work focuses on electronic systems, I am also keenly interested in applications of information-theoretic approaches to securing biomechanical and very large distributed computing systems.

My Google Scholar profile. My LinkedIn profile.

Teaching: I will be teaching ECE340A "Introduction to Communications" in Fall 2019 at the University of Arizona; I have previously taught this class in Spring 2019. I was an instructor of CMPSCI691WS seminar on wireless network security in the Spring 2011 with Shane Clark and Dennis Goeckel and covered the information-theoretic aspects.

A. B. Economics - Dartmouth College, June 2001
M. S. Computer Science - University of Massachusetts - Amherst, May 2008
Ph. D. Computer Science - University of Massachusetts - Amherst, February 2015
  Thesis: Fundamental Limits of Covert Communication
  Advisors: Don Towsley [CS] and Dennis Goeckel [ECE]

Previous work: I spent the three+ years between graduating UMass and being appointed at the University of Arizona working as the Scientist with the Quantum Information Processing Group at Raytheon BBN Technologies in Cambridge MA. I worked with Saikat Guha (now at Arizona OSC) and Jon Habif (now at USC ISI) on the theoretical and experimental aspects of quantum-secure communication and sensing. I spent from June 2013 until October 2013 with the same group as an intern, and worked on the implementation of the proof-of-concept covert optical communication system as well as theoretical aspects of quantum noise limited covert communication. I was a Research Assistant in Advanced Computer Networking Group at UMass CS from September 2005 until February 2015. From March 2004 until August 2005 I was a Research Associate in the Web, Internet and Networking Group at Boston University Computer Science Department under the supervision of John W. Byers.

Publications (list as of July 2019, recent publications can be found on my Google Scholar profile)


  • "Covert sensing using floodlight illumination," Christos N. Gagatsos, Boulat A. Bash, Animesh Datta, Zheshen Zhang, and Saikat Guha, Physical Review A 99 (6 June 2019), 062321 [aps] [arXiv]
  • "Covert Wireless Communication with Artificial Noise Generation," Ramin Soltani, Dennis Goeckel, Don Towsley, Boulat A. Bash, and Saikat Guha, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication (2018) [ieeexplore] [arXiv]
    • Earlier version presented at Allerton 2014 as "Artificial Noise Generation to Enhance LPD Throughput on AWGN Channels"
  • "Multi-Hop Routing in Covert Wireless Networks," Azadeh Sheikholeslami, Majid Ghaderi, Donald Towsley, Boulat A. Bash, Saikat Guha, and Dennis Goeckel, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication 17.6 (2018) 3656-3669 [ieeexplore] [arXiv]
  • "Bounding the quantum limits of precision for phase estimation with loss and thermal noise," Christos N. Gagatsos, Boulat A. Bash, Saikat Guha, and Animesh Datta, Physical Review A 96 (6 Dec. 2017), 062306 [aps] [arXiv]
  • "Covert Communication in the Presence of an Uninformed Jammer," Tamara V. Sobers, Boulat A. Bash, Saikat Guha, Don Towsley, and Dennis Goeckel, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications 16.9 (2017) 6193-6206 [ieeexplore] [arXiv]
    • Earlier version presented at Asilomar 2015 as "Covert Communication with the Help of an Uninformed Jammer Achieves Positive Rate"
  • "Covert Communication Gains from Adversary's Ignorance of Transmission Time," Boulat A. Bash, Dennis Goeckel, and Don Towsley, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications 15.12 (2016) 8394-8405 [ieeexplore] [arXiv] [techreport]
    • Abbreviated version presented at ISIT 2014 as "LPD Communication when the Warden Does Not Know When"
  • "Covert Communications when the Warden Does Not Know the Background Noise Power," Dennis Goeckel, Boulat A. Bash, Saikat Guha, and Don Towsley, IEEE Communication Letters 20.2 (2016) 236-239 [ieeexplore]
  • "Hiding Information in Noise: Fundamental Limits of Covert Wireless Communication," Boulat A. Bash, Dennis Goeckel, Don Towsley, and Saikat Guha, IEEE Communications Magazine 53.12 (2015) 26-31 [ieeexplore] [arXiv]
  • "Quantum-secure Covert Communication on Bosonic Channels," Boulat A. Bash, Andrei H. Gheorghe, Monika Patel, Jonathan L. Habif, Dennis Goeckel, Don Towsley, Saikat Guha, Nature Communications 6, 8620 (2015) [open access]
  • "Limits of Reliable Communication with Low Probability of Detection on AWGN Channels," Boulat A. Bash, Dennis Goeckel, Don Towsley, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (Signal Processing Techniques for Wireless Physical Layer Security) 31.9 (2013) 1921-1930 [ieeexplore] [techreport] [arXiv]
    • Abbreviated version presented at ISIT 2012 as "Square Root Law for Communication with Low Probability of Detection on AWGN Channels" [slides]
  • "Asymptotic Optimality of Equal Power Allocation for Linear Estimation of WSS Random Processes," Boulat A. Bash, Dennis Goeckel, Don Towsley, IEEE Wireless Communications Letters 2.3 (2013) 247-250 [ieeexplore] [tech report] [arXiv]


Technical Reports:

  • "Fundamental limits of quantum-secure covert communication over bosonic channels," Michael S Bullock, Christos N Gagatsos, Saikat Guha, Boulat A Bash 2019 [arXiv]
  • "Quantum Key Distribution Using Multiple Gaussian Focused Beams," Boulat A. Bash, Nivedita Chandrasekaran, Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Saikat Guha 2016 [arXiv]

Full Curriculum Vitae


I am primarily interested in the information theoretic aspects of secure communication. My recent work has been on covert or low probability of detection/intercept (LPD/LPI) communication. Having derived the fundamental limit to classical covert communication, I broadened the result to quantum-secure covert communications. We now seek to establish a framework for covert networks.

Previously I did some work on cooperative routing in ad hoc wireless networks. I have also studied the path failures in the Internet as well as distributed computational geometry problems like Voronoi diagram computation and determination of nodes on the convex hull of the network in the realm of energy-constrained limited-range lossy wireless networks.

Students advised at the University of Arizona (alphabetical by last name):

  • Shakil Ahmed (Ph.D., ECE)
  • Michael Bullock (B.S., ECE)
  • Zihao Gong (Ph.D., ECE)
  • Wenhua He (Ph.D., Optical Sciences)

Previous life

My main research effort during and immediately after college was in financial economics. The empirical studies which I carried out required efficient design and implementation of data analysis algorithms and dealing with gargantuan data sets. While working as a research assistant for late Prof. Kent Womack at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, I was interested in market microstructure-based long-term initial public offering (IPO) returns predictors. In other words, I looked at sequences of trades on stock exchange and tried to forecast returns of IPOs. This work resulted in an SSRN working paper.

When I joined Quantitative Strategies Group in Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. as an analyst, I conducted research into risk factors in long-short portfolios and took major role in managing an experimental long-short strategy.


  • "Post-IPO Flipping and Turnover: Predictive Factors for Long-Run Returns," Boulat A. Bash, Social Science Research Network working paper 623502, May 2001, [ssrn page] [local pdf]


TAQAccess is a tool to extract NYSE Transactions and Quotes data into data structures convenient for analysis. It works on all TAQ database CDs/DVDs from its inception in 1993 to present. The source includes examples of using the data structures. Stable version. [taz] [zip]

Excel models developed for Tuck core MBA capital markets class: BondBuilder [xls], FrontierBuilder [xls], and BetaBuilder [xls].


I am fond of watching baseball, and am a big fan of the Boston Red Sox. The incomplete (through 2007) listing of the Red Sox (and their minor league affiliates) games that I saw in person can be found here. In the summer of 2010, I saw a game at all of the MiLB baseball parks in New England.

I am also a Dartmouth and UMass sports nut, in particular ice hockey (and football, to a lesser extent). One of the things I wanted to do before leaving Amherst is to see Dartmouth and UMass hockey games at all of their respective league opponents' rinks. As of March 2015, I've seen Dartmouth hockey play at all ECAC arenas, and UMass hockey at all Hockey East arenas. At the Sacred Heart Pioneers men's home game against Niagara Purple Eagles on January 3rd, 2016 I completed my tour of all New England Division I hockey arenas. You can see which other sports venues I have been to here.

Here are a couple of other Red Sox and baseball resources:

My other hobbies include running, swimming, listening to heavy metal, and visiting National Parks Service sites. I've also enjoyed cross-country skiing before moving to Arizona.