ISEC (6th floor)
- BA in Political Science and International Affairs, Northeastern University
- Graduate Certificate in Computer Science, Northeastern University
- Hometown: Arcadia, California
- Field of Study: Cybersecurity
- PhD Avisors: David Choffnes, Alan Mislove, Christo Wilson, Woodrow Hartzog
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
I’m currently in the first year of my PhD program, advised by professors between Khoury College and the Northeastern School of Law. Prior to this program, I was pursuing coursework towards the Khoury Master’s in Cybersecurity while working full-time at Rapid7 and Akamai Technologies.
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?
My primary focus is on privacy, and more recently on dark patterns in user experiences. To be frank, I never imagined going into academia — for almost all of my life I was dead-set on law school. That quickly changed when I was offered the opportunity to join Northeastern’s ALIGN program, which gave me a technical skillset and led me to where I am today. Now, my research allows me to think critically about technology, bleeding-edge policy, and the intersection between the two.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I’d like to help build standards for privacy protections that accomplish two things: reduce friction for developers/UX practitioners when building privacy-forward software, and improve users’ agency over the devices they use.
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?
At times, it feels like this program maps nicely to the Star Trek introductory speech. I love that this section of security/society is a (comparatively) unexplored frontier. It’s a good and bad thing — it’s really easy to go down research rabbit holes, but there’s so much left to discover that it’s impossible to be bored.
What are your research/career goals, going forward?
So long as I can continue investigating unanswered questions in the field, I’ll be content.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree? Any reason in particular behind your choice (a program you were excited about, a city you love, a researcher you wanted to work with)?
I completed my undergraduate degree here at Northeastern, in an entirely different discipline that I’m pursuing now. I can’t imagine another school that would let me completely switch gears and freely explore so many interests (like social entrepreneurship, activism in East Asia, resilience, revisionist history, and of course technology).