Building Systems That Protect Users and Their Data
Simply put, data security and privacy affects every single person in the world. Data breaches, where organizations compromise sensitive user data, are frighteningly common. Current approaches however, fail to properly safeguard security and privacy. Existing encrypted databases introduce data pipelines that leak enough side channel information that data breaches are an inevitability, while cryptographically secure solutions are so slow and cumbersome that they no longer serve their intended purpose. Moreover, many business models - such as targeted advertising - are predicated on their continued ability to analyze and make decisions based on private user data. Without a principled approach to protecting user privacy, it is unclear if this setup is sustainable. To address this problem, we need systems that treat security and privacy as first-class citizens in their system design.
I build secure and private database management systems that balance the trade-offs among privacy, performance, and query result accuracy. My work spans numerous disciplines of computer science, including, 1) databases: modeling query workloads to estimate and optimize their privacy properties, runtime, and result accuracy across multiple settings, 2) security: extending secure computation protocols to evaluate SQL statements over the private data of many data owners without revealing data in plaintext, and 3) privacy: rigorously modeling the end-to-end information leakage profile of a privacy-preserving DBMS. My work brings together these disparate research areas to create usable query processing engines with strong privacy and security guarantees.
I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Database Group at Duke University hosted by Prof. Ashwin Machanvajjhala and Prof. Kartik Nayak. Before that, I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at Northwestern University under the guidance of Prof. Jennie Rogers and my B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. My research centers on how to implement privacy and security in database systems. By investigating the intersection of security, privacy, and performance, I hope to build fast, accurate database systems that support privacy-preserving analytics with provable security guarantees.
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