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GWUSEC Lab

We are the George Washington University/Usable Security and Privacy Lab (GWUSEC). The lab works on problems related to computer security and privacy, with a human centered approach. We are interested in learning why and how users interact, understand, and use/misuse security and privacy tools, and then we design and build better solutions. We are also interested in more general problems related to cybersecurity and privacy. If you want to find out more, please join one of our public activities.

News

  • June 2020 Raina Samuel, Philipp Markert, Adam J. Aviv, and Iulian Neamtiu have a new paper accepted at SOUPS'20 on the security and usability of Knock Codes. Read the arxiv (preprint).
  • June 2020 Yasmine Acar will be joining the CS department as an Assistant Professor and Co-lab director of GWUSEC lab starting January 2021. Welcome aboard!
  • May 2020 Philipp Markert is presenting our research at IEEE S&P (Oakland) on May 18th.
  • May 2020 We've got a Twitter account @gwusec. Follow us for updates!
  • May 2020 David Balash, Nelson Jaimes, and Collins Munyendo. Welcome aboard!
  • May 2020 The lab website goes live!

People

Adam J. Aviv
Adam J. Aviv
Assoc. Prof.
Co-Lab Director
Yasmine Acar
Yasemin Acar
External Collaborator
Assist. Prof./Co-Lab Director
(starting Jan, 2021)

David Balash
David Balash
PhD Student
Nelson Jaimes
Nelson Jaimes
PhD Student
Collins Munyendo
Collins Munyendo
PhD Student
James Levy
James Levy
PhD Student
Irwin Reyes
Irwin Reyes
External Collaborator
"Fixer"
Maximllian Golla
Maximilian Golla
External Collaborator
Survey Guru
Philipp Markert
Philipp Markert
External Collaborator
Florian Farke
Florian Farke
External Collaborator
Peter Mayer
Peter Mayer
External Collaborator
Postdoc in abstentia
Tim Forman
Tim Forman
Undergraduate (USNA)
Xiaoyuan (Owen) Wu
Xiaoyuan (Owen) Wu
Undergraduate
Dongkun Kim
Dongkun Kim
Undergraduate
Miles Grant
Miles Grant
Undergraduate
If you are a current lab member or collaborator and would like to be added to the list of members, submit a pull request to the webpage repository.

External Lab Collaborations

Activities

The lab has a number of public and private activities. Everyone is welcome at the public events, without invitation. Attending a public event is a great way to meet people in the lab, and potentially getting involved in research.

  • Security and Privacy Reading Group
    public

    The Security and Privacy Reading Group is a weekly public event where we discuss a recent research article related to security and privacy. A discussion lead will prepare a short presentation that will kick off the discussion. The reading group is also "brown bag lunch" and has a social component.

    Thursdays 1130-1230. Currently meeting virtually. (Off for the summer, returning August)

  • Lab Scrum Meetings
    by invitation

    We have regular, scrum-like lab meetings where status updates on all projects are quickly presented. Non collaborators are allowed to attend, by invitation.

    Friday 430-500. Currently meeting virtually.

  • Social Hour/Lab Open House
    public

    Once a month, we have a social hour and lab open house where students, faculty, and prospective collaborators can socialize.

    Second Friday of every month from 430-530, during the academic year.
    Time/Place TBD as we assess social distancing requirements.

Join the lab!

So, you're interested in computer security and privacy research and you're interested in joining the lab? Great! We are always looking for new collaborators. What actions you should take depends on your background.

  • Prospective PhD Students

    We are always looking for new PhD students, and if you are applying to grad school and interested in usable security and privacy, please consider GW! Please email Adam Aviv with any inquiries, but be mindful, we may not follow up with everyone. Obvious form emails sent enmass will not receive a response, so please be sure to write a personal email that notes some background about yourself and what kinds of projects you're interested in researching. Do not attach a CV or resume: just let us know who you are and why you want to join the lab.

  • GW Undergraduate/Masters Students

    If you are a current GW student, either an undergraduate or masters students, the easiest way to get involved in the lab is to attend one of our public events. Participating in reading group or social hour is the fastest way to learn what is happening in the lab, as well as earn an invite to the lab meeting.

    You may also email Adam Aviv if you are interested in research project, but you will likely be directed to attend a public event. If you cannot attend a public event, we can arrange other times to meet.

Values Statement

At GWUSEC, we strive to conduct the highest quality academic research that is inclusive, diverse, and impactful. In those pursuits, we are guided by the following principles:

  • creativity — we reward creativity in our research, and do not confine or belittle others’ ideas;
  • integrity — we value honesty and accuracy in our communications and reports;
  • ethics — we consider the ethics of our research methods and treat our subjects with respect, always striving to minimize risk and maximize benefits;
  • scientific rigor — we seek academic and scientific rigor in our research efforts to explore subject matters in-depth;
  • inclusion — we recognize that that many groups have historically been marginalized in our field, and we strive to find ways to collaborate and partner with individuals across all backgrounds, races, and genders and uplift researchers and professionals who have been unjustly marginalized;
  • humility — we are willing to admit when we are wrong, take action to correct mistakes in ourselves, and treat mistakes as learning opportunities;
  • compassion — we show compassion to each other by supporting lab members in cases when their physical or mental health, personal life or family situation warrants special consideration;
  • justice — we believe in racial justice and oppose discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, (dis)ability, economic background and nationality, and condemn oppression in any form.
  • impact — we are determined to conduct research that is impactful both within the scientific community and broadly for all humanity.

Publications