Graduation and plans

May 20, 2009 at 6:35 am 3 comments

I defended my Ph.D thesis earlier this month, and I will soon be starting as a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford supervised by Dan Boneh. I’m very excited! I will still work on data anonymity, but it will not be my sole research focus.

Here is the introductory chapter to my thesis, formatted as a stand-alone document. I expect it to be useful mainly as a glossary and a very brief survey of data collection and sharing. It explains why non-interactive data sharing is popular and why anonymization is so tempting as a privacy protection mechanism.

As you can see, the chapter is less than 4 pages long, excluding references; the rest of my thesis consists of my papers concatenated together. Fortunately, the doctoral dissertation is generally treated as a formality in Computer Science, a fact that I am very grateful for since a dissertation is a stupendously inefficient way of communicating research results. I’m glad that my committee members made my life easy, while also providing useful comments on my defense talk.

I presented the social network de-anonymization paper at the S&P conference today at Oakland. Email me for the slides.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Your Morning Commute is Unique: On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs Privacy Law Scholars Conference

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bart Cart  |  May 25, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I’m glad you won’t be dropping the subject of data anonimity. Too many people completely change their are of expertise once they start post-doctoral stuff.

    Reply
  • 2. Sean  |  September 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I don’t think this is really true. Many people in CS spend effort on their theses, and they are often good introductions to the field. Plus, I think it is useful for PhD students to get a broader perspective. I am not criticizing your dissertation, but I disagree with calling it a formality.

    Reply
    • 3. Arvind  |  September 11, 2009 at 3:16 am

      Let me rephrase that. While it’s true that many people try to write meaningful theses, most CS departments and advisors seem to be fine with students treating it as a formality.

      Believe me, I’m all about the broader perspective. (I’m actually working on a survey now that tries to unite many threads of research in disparate fields under a single umbrella.) But again, I think that for most people the thesis is a poor avenue for saying actually useful things, because you are typically laboring under the constraint of somehow making it a superset of your papers.

      Reply

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About 33bits.org

I'm an assistant professor of computer science at Princeton. I research (and teach) information privacy and security, and moonlight in technology policy.

This is a blog about my research on breaking data anonymization, and more broadly about information privacy, law and policy.

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