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I am (Full) Professor of Security and Privacy Enhancing Technologies at University College London (UCL). I am affiliated with the Computer Science Department and currently serve as the Director of UCL’s Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). Before joining UCL in 2013, I was a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC.

Research

I do academic research in the broad information security area. Recently, I have been focusing on problems at the intersection of machine learning and privacy, as well as on understanding and countering socio-technical issues on the Web using a data-driven approach.

My research has been published at all four top-tier conferences in security (IEEE S&P, NDSS, ACM CCS, Usenix Security) as well top-tier conferences in other fields, such as ICML, WWW, ACM IMC, ACM SIGMETRICS, ICWSM, CSCW. My co-authors and I have received distinguished paper awards from NDSS, CSCW, ICWSM, and ACM IMC, the Data Protection by Design Award from the Catalan Data Protection authority, and were runners-up for the CSAW Applied Research Competition and the INRIA-CNIL Privacy Protection Award.

Education

  • PhD in Networked Systems, 2011
    University of California, Irvine
    Advisor: Gene Tsudik
    Dissertation: Sharing Sensitive Information with Privacy
  • BSc in Computer Science, 2005
    University of Salerno, Italy
    Summa cum Laude, top 1% in graduating class

During my PhD, I also spent a few months on research internships at NEC in Heidelberg (2008), INRIA in Grenoble (2009), and Nokia in Lausanne (2010).

Personal

I was born in Avellino, a small town in South of Italy on the hills of Irpinia. Irpinia is known for its green landscapes and medieval castles, the soccer team, the hazelnuts, and the black truffles, as well as some great wines like Taurasi, Fiano di Avellino, and Greco di Tufo (in fact, my smarter brother Paolo became an amazing wine journalist).

I have spent a few great years in California – in Irvine and Palo Alto (and it turns out I’m definitely more of a SoCal than a NorCal person), before moving to London. I have also briefly lived in Rome and near Venice, in Portsmouth (UK), Heidelberg, Singapore, Grenoble, Lausanne, Barcelona, and تهران.

In my free time, I like acting as a coffee snob and a guerilla activist against pineapple on pizza, nostalgically remembering the times I used to surf in San Onofre State Beach, cooking (only pasta and pizza, obviously), and taking long walks with my better half Darya and little one Maya.

I have alwyas loved languages and I’m kind of fluent in English, French, and Italian, and can utter enough words to get out of (or in) trouble in German, Spanish, and Persian.