Introducing the 2021 CCS Ph.D.s

Five doctoral candidates affiliated with the NYU Center for Cybersecurity were officially declared graduates at Commencement Services on May 19. Let’s congratulate the Center’s newly minted doctors as they head off to positions in both industry and academia.

Periwinkle Doerfler (Advisor: Dr. Damon McCoy) 
Ph.D., Computer Science

Periwinkle successfully defended her dissertation on  “’Adversarial ‘Intended’ Usage of Technology and the Need for New Threat Models Addressing Human Harms” in April 2021. She is now employed as a security engineer for Facebook.

Zahra Ghodsi (Advisor: Dr. Siddharth Garg)
 Ph.D., Electrical Engineering

Zahra successfully defended her dissertation on “Secure Frameworks for Outsourced Deep Learning Inference” in December 2020. She now holds a post-doctoral position at the University of California-San Diego, where she is  working on optimizing and automating mixed-protocol cryptographic solutions for private computing in general, and secure machine learning in particular. 

Yiwen Li (Advisors: Dr. Justin Cappos and Dr. Brendan Dolan-Gavitt)
Ph.D., Computer Science

Yiwen obtained his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from NYU Tandon after defending his thesis in April 2021.  His topic was “Enhancing Kernel Security in Virtualized Systems” and was based on his research efforts in improving security strategies for virtual machines and containers through the Lind project.

Kang Liu (Advisor: Dr. Siddharth Garg) 
Ph.D., Electrical Engineering

Kang obtained his Ph.D. degree from New York University in May 2021 after defending this dissertation “Understanding and Mitigating the Impact of Backdooring Attacks on Deep Neural Networks” the month before. Later this year, he will be joining the faculty of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China as an assistant professor.

Maria Isabel Mera (Advisor: Dr. Siddharth Garg) 
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering

Maria Isabel successfully defended her dissertation work on secure DNN accelerators in November 2020. She now works for Google in the hardware design team.