Empower - The Campaign for Northeastern University


Measurements, User Studies, and New Systems, Oh My!

Title: Measurements, User Studies, and New Systems, Oh My!

Speaker: Ada Lerner, Assistant Professor, Wellesley College

Location: Northeastern University 805 Columbus Avenue, 136 Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC), Boston, MA 02120


Technology has evolved to have widespread social, political, and personal importance. In order for it to live up to this importance, designers, regulators, and builders of technology must incorporate security and privacy into the way they use and deploy technology. In this talk, I consider a variety of contexts in which technology is used a) in socially important contexts (such as in journalism and courts of law) or b) by particularly vulnerable populations (such as LGBTQ folks). I will then describe some of my recent and current work which responds to these contexts, including: using web archives to perform longitudinal measurements of web tracking; discovering and defending against vulnerabilities for manipulating web archives; developing a usable encrypted email tool, and studying its usability with lawyers and journalists; and on-going work using quantitative and qualitative methods to study the security and privacy of queer folks. Throughout the work described, my goal is to uncover information and build systems that will help us to improve the way that technology serves the needs of all people.

About the Speaker

Ada Lerner is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Wellesley College. Their work is in the area of computer security and privacy, and their methods span a wide range of techniques, including measurements, user studies, and system building, all aimed at the goal of understanding and improving the ways that technology affects all people. They earned their PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle, where they were a member of the UW Tech Policy Lab, which supported a continuing interest in solving computer security and privacy problems in an interdisciplinary fashion which incorporates the law.

Faculty Host

Dave Choffnes, Assistant Professor

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 11:00am



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