805 Columbus Avenue
660, Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC)
Boston, MA 02120
- MTech, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
- BTech, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
- Hometown: Chennai
- Field of Study: Computer Science
- PhD Advisor: Alan Mislove
Gridhari Venkatadri is a PhD student at Northeastern’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences focusing on security and privacy in social computing systems, advised by Professor Alan Mislove. Venkatadri comes from Chennai, India, and earned both his MTech and BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Currently, he is most interested in the security and privacy implications of online advertising platforms.
Through his research, Venkatadri hopes to design a targeted advertising platform that is robust to attacks on user privacy. He enjoys the creativity involved, as well as the scale of impact that his research has had, potentially benefiting billions of users via various privacy leaks that his research group has discovered and disclosed. Going forward, Venkatadri would like to pursue academic and/or industrial research in the space of online privacy.
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
I have primarily focused on security and privacy in social computing systems. I have worked both on assessing the trustworthiness of online identities (which are often easy to create, unverified, and have little history attached to them), and on the privacy implications of online advertising platforms.
What are your research interests in a bit more detail? Is your current academic/research path what you always had in mind for yourself, or has it evolved somewhat? If so, how/why?
I am currently most interested in the security and privacy implications of online advertising platforms. Online advertising platforms have evolved to allow the targeting of ads to niche sets of users. This can lead to the potential for privacy leaks, can open the door for discriminatory advertising etc. I am interested in characterizing the problems that exist, and in designing solutions to them.
I gravitated towards this problem space as the result of a gradual process of seeking out problem areas that are both technically challenging and also have a strong, direct influence on people’s lives.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I’d like to help design a targeted advertising platform that is robust to attacks on user privacy.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting/fascinating to you? What aspects of your research (findings, angles, problems you’re solving) might surprise others?
This problem space is very new; I like the demands on creativity that it places. I also like the scale of impact that our research has had (potentially benefiting billions of users via various privacy leaks that we discovered and disclosed).
What are your research/career goals, going forward?
I would like to pursue research in the space of online privacy either in academia or in industry.