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Boston, MA 02115
- BS in Computer Science, Lahore University of Management Sciences – Pakistan
- Hometown: Bahawalpur, Pakistan
- Field of Study: Networked Systems
- PhD Advisor: Christo Wilson
Ahmad is a PhD candidate at Northeastern University’s Khoury College of Computer Sciences, where he is advised by Professor Christo Wilson. Ahmad is broadly interested in security and privacy aspects of large-scale online systems. His current research focuses on understanding the online advertising ecosystem with an emphasis on privacy implications for end users. Ahmad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan. Before starting his PhD, Ahmad collaborated with Krishna Gummadi’s group at Max Planck Institute (SWS) for 2 years, where his research focused on studying trustworthiness and reputation of identities in Online Social Networks.
What are your research interests?
My research revolves around understanding the security and privacy implications of large-scale online systems. Currently, I am focused on studying the online advertising ecosystem on the web to understand how it impacts user privacy. My goal is to make the online advertising ecosystem more transparent to enable users make informed decisions regarding their personal information. I am also interested in the research surrounding Threat Exchange data. I have previously worked on projects aimed at limiting abuse on online services such as Facebook and Twitter.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I would like to make online systems more transparent to end users, so that they have more control over their personal information and can make informed decisions regarding their private data.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
The most interesting thing I find about my work is that one can understand the “inner workings” of extremely complex systems by collecting and analyzing data about them. I am looking at online advertising networks to understand how they exchange user information. This is a very complicated process, but we have a much better understanding of it now because of the data we collected using retargeted ads.