Showing posts from 2015

World Economic Forum IdeasLab talk on Smartphones and Healthcare

Here is a YouTube video of my talk at the World Economic Forum on Smartphones, Personal Data, and Healthcare.

Article in Quartz Magazine about Usability and Cybersecurity

I recently wrote up an article on Quartz looking at why public officials are using personal email accounts for business, looking at it from a usability and security perspective.
Why are so many politicians turning to personal email in the first place?

This trend may justifiably raise concerns about transparency and legality. But why are so many politicians turning to personal email in the first place? It could be that usability issues are driving our public officials and their subordinates to use personal accounts.

Conflict Management and Negotiation

One thing we do in our Master's of Human-Computer Interaction program is to have our students participate in workshops about conflict management. Conflict is inevitable, but how you deal with it is not.

This year, we also sent our students some web resources about negotiation strategies. These are, for the most part, very positive ways of looking at negotiation, rather than making it something purely adversarial.

How to Negotiate Nicely Without Being a Pushover, Harvard Business ReviewEpisode 425: An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car, Planet Money, NPR (audio only)What A Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Can Teach Us About The Fiscal Cliff, Planet Money, NPR (audio + transcript)

Computer Science, Internet of Things, Privacy, and Advice for Students

I wrote up an article for my old high school's alumni magazine, about my work and advice for the students. Here's the article below.


In the near future, our smart homes, smart cars, and smartphones will essentially know everything about us. In many ways, this will be a good thing, as these devices can help us in terms of healthcare, sustainability, safety, and more. At the same time, these same systems pose many new kinds of privacy challenges. What kind of data is being sensed and collected? How is it used? How can we help people feel like they are in control? How can we create a connected world that we would all want to live in?
After graduating from SCGSSM in 1993, I majored in both computer science and mathematics at Georgia Tech, and then got my PhD at University of California at Berkeley. Since 2004, I’ve been a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top schools in the world in computer science. It’s a very fun place, with brilliant people look…

Visualizations of Phishing Emails

I've been collecting all phishing emails that have come into my inbox since 2010. I thought it would be fun to create some simple visualizations, to look for interesting patterns.

Below is a wordle of 95 different Nigerian email scams. These are the scams where the sender of the email has a business proposition for you, with millions of dollars in a bank or secret fund, and they need your help getting it out. You can see several prominent words, like bank, money, contact, and fund. You can also see that these scammers are quite polite, with please being a common word too.

Surprisingly, I only got 16 reply-to phishing emails. These are the ones where the scammer asks you to fill out your account information in the email, like your account name and password. Nothing too surprising here.  
The largest set was 160 general phishing attacks, ones where the scammer tries to trick you into clicking a link or opening an attachment. You can see that these scammers are quite polite, with ple…

Notes on Running the Mobisys 2015 Program Committee

Marco Gruteser and I recently finished co-chairing the Mobisys 2015 technical program committee. Some of the TPC members said that it was the best run, least stressful program committee that they had been on, and were amazed that we were able to discuss over 60 papers.

I thought it would be good to share what tools and processes we used to keep things running smoothly, to help other program committees.
We allocated NNN minutes of discussion per paper (this will vary depending on PC size and #papers to discuss). Basically, take the total amount of time and divide by #papers to discuss, subtracting 1-2 minutes per paper as slack time.We used the iPad app Lightning Talk to keep track of time (thanks to Jenna Date for pointing me to this app)On the projector, we displayed what paper we were discussing and who the conflicts were. This helped speed up conflicts getting out of the room. Here is a shortened version of the slides. (Thanks to Morley Mao and Landon Cox for this idea)Conveniently,…