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CyLab graduate students awarded Presidential Fellowships

posted by Daniel Tkacik
October 27, 2016

Last December, it was announced that CyLab would begin awarding Presidential Fellowships to high-achieving exemplary graduate students researching topics around security and privacy. Each fellowship covers one year of tuition, and up to six fellowships can be offered on a yearly basis.

This year’s CyLab Presidential Fellowship recipients have just been announced.

Mahmood Sharif, Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE)

Advised by ECE and Institute for Software Research professor Lujo Bauer and Computer Science and Engineering and Public Policy professor Nicolas Christin.

“I’m really delighted to be a recipient of the CyLab Presidential Award Fellowship. The fellowship will help me pursue my research in the area of adversarial machine learning, which I believe will have an impact not only on the computer-security and machine-learning fields, but, due to the ubiquitous deployment of machine-learning algorithms, on society at large.”


Shayak Sen, Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department (CSD)

Advised by CSD professor Anupam Datta

"I view the award as encouragement to continue working on hard research questions that have an impact on people's lives.”

Sen’s thesis research focuses on computational accountability, the theory and tools to provide oversight of big data systems to detect and correct for violations of privacy and fairness.


Kyle Soska, Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advised by Computer Science and Engineering and Public Policy professor Nicolas Christin.

Soska’s thesis work addresses growing concerns about the ubiquitous nature of user’s private information on the web, and tackles it in the context of e-commerce, one of the most important applications of the Internet today.

“This award is a direct indication that CMU cares about this problem as much as I do. I am flattered and humbled that CMU sees the potential in this line of work.”


Michael Sullivan, Ph.D. student in the Computer Science Department (CSD)

Advised by CSD professor Karl Crary

“My work attempts to make it substantially more practical to reason effectively about lock-free algorithms.”

Sullivan’s research focus is building a new approach to language memory models for concurrency that better supports writing and reasoning about lock-free algorithms in the presence of optimizing compilers and relaxed hardware memory models. A key requirement of building robust and secure software is being able to effectively reason about programs.


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