What research/ projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on research in the field of privacy-preserving data analytics with my advisor Andreas Haeberlen and a group of other great collaborators at Penn CIS. We’re working mostly on how to design systems for massive-scale distributed data analysis while guaranteeing differential privacy. It’s a nice mix of applied cryptography and distributed systems thinking, which has been really enjoyable for me. I’m currently thinking of how to expand some of our work to graph analytics, which introduce a host of other challenges, but also bring in a lot of possible applications (even potentially in understanding aggregate statistics during the pandemic).
What has been keeping you grounded and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The most important quarantine hobby I have is exercise – I mostly work out in my apartment, but I’ve also recently started playing tennis again (a naturally physically-distanced sport!) I have also been trying to stay on a constant reading schedule outside of research, with a healthy mix of baking every once in a while.
What future research/ projects are you excited about?
I’m excited to continue my research on privacy-preserving technologies, because I believe they have so much potential to unlock additional sources of sensitive data, and also because they can give a chance for people to have meaningful consent and control over the data they choose to contribute for aggregate analytic purposes. In the long-term, I’m passionate about all sorts of public interest technology, particularly those that can help protect privacy rights, decrease inequality, and strengthen democracy.
Favorite culture intakes right now.
I’m a huge fan of the Ezra Klein podcast – he’s a great systems-level thinker and brings on so many incredible guests from a wide variety of fields. A good chunk of the podcast is about politics, but regardless of your interests, I guarantee you can find an episode in the catalog which will leave you thinking about the world in a new way. I’ve been listening to a lot of different music, but one artist I’ll highlight is Jazmine Sullivan, because her voice makes me feel things!