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Research Overview
My research lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, security and privacy, and systems. More specifically:
  • How can we use rich sensor data to improve our lives?
  • How can we improve everyday privacy for smart environments?
  • How can we use crowdsourcing to improve privacy and security?

My research group is called CHIMPS (Computer Human Interaction: Mobility Privacy Security). Our group has been generously funded through a number of sources, including the National Science Foundation, DARPA, the Army Research Office, Microsoft, Nokia Research, Intel, Google, Portugal Telecom, Pitney Bowes, CMU Cylab, NQ Mobile, Samsung, Yahoo!, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the HCII Foundation.

I help run the Pervasive Computing subreddit. I sometimes write for BLOG@CACM and Wombat Security Technologies' blog. I'm also a co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies.

What's New?
Apr 5, 2015
My whitepaper for the NITRD National Research Strategy on Privacy, entitled Research Issues for Privacy in a Ubiquitously Connected World, is now available.

Feb 17, 2015
I was interviewed by the BBC program The Naked Scientist about smartphones and privacy.

Feb 9, 2015
I wrote up some notes about running the Mobisys 2015 technical program committee.

Dec 26, 2014
PrivacyGrade.org, which has our analysis of the privacy of 1 million Android smartphone apps, has been public for about a month. So far, our work has appeared on CNN, US News and World Report, New York Times, CNBC, IEEE Spectrum, Forbes, and more.

Dec 1, 2014
I'm very fortunate to have received the HCII Career Development fellowship. Special thanks to all of my colleagues and the students at CMU.

Nov 3, 2014
Our paper entitled Increasing Security Sensitivity With Social Proof: A Large-Scale Experimental Confirmation was presented at CCS 2014.

Oct 30, 2014
I briefed some Congressional staffers about our work on analyzing the privacy of smartphone apps.

Sep 17, 2014
My brother and I have created the Frances and Chou-Chu Hong graduate fellowship at the Veterinary and Animal Sciences Department at the University of Massachusetts, in honor of our parents.

July 10, 2014
Wombat Security Technologies has closed Series B Funding of $6.7M with Level Equity. Read more here.

Jun 16, 2014
I gave the keynote talk at the Mobile Cloud Computing and Services Workshop, at Mobisys 2014. The talk was entitled Privacy, Ethics, and Big (Smartphone) Data.

Jun 13, 2014
Our group has two papers at SOUPS 2014:

Mar 10, 2014
I gave a one hour crash course in UX and UI design. See the slides here.

Feb 26, 2014
Our group's work on predictive analytics was listed by the World Economic Forum as one of the top ten emerging technologies of 2014. See the article here.

Dec 9, 2013
Two of our group's papers were accepted to CHI 2014:

Oct 25, 2013
Gave a talk at PopTech 2013 on sensing and privacy. See slides and video here.

Aug 9, 2013
Gave a talk at ISSA CISO Executive Forum on Leveraging Human Factors for Effective Security Training. See the slides here.

Dec 26, 2012
Our work on smartphone app privacy was featured on the CBS Morning Show.

Nov 30, 2012
Here is our analysis of the most unexpected behaviors in smartphone apps. This work is based on our Ubicomp 2012 paper Expectation and Purpose: Understanding Users’ Mental Models of Mobile App Privacy through Crowdsourcing.

The image below shows the level of surprise for different kinds of permissions. For example, the figure below shows that 80% of people in our study were surprised that Angry Birds uses location data.

Apr 9, 2012
Livehoods.org is now public. Our vision is to re-imagine how cities work in the age of social media. Specifically, we've analyzed and clustered 18m foursquare checkins to understand how people use a city. We currently have maps for New York City and Pittsburgh. Livehoods has been featured in The Atlantic Cities, Wired Insider, MIT Technology Review, Fast Company Co.Design, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Haaretz.

Current Research
Phenom: Enabling an Ecosystem of Personal Behavioral Data
How can we make better use of all of the wealth of personal behavioral data (smartphones, web usage, social networking) to develop a better computational model of people, places, activities, and things?

UniAuth: Streamlining Authentication for Ubiquitous Computing
What kinds of protocols, APIs, and user interfaces are needed for our smartphones to manage all of our authentication needs, both for the web and Internet of Things?

PrivacyGrade: Analyzing Smartphone App Privacy
How can we analyze the privacy of millions of smartphone apps in a manner that is scalable and understandable to everyday users?

Social Cybersecurity
How do people talk about cybersecurity? How can we apply techniques from social psychology to improve people's awareness, knowledge, and motivation to be secure?

The CHIMPS Research Team
Our research group is CHIMPS (Computer Human Interaction: Mobility Privacy Security). We have an amazingly talented group of PhD students and post-docs:
  • Jason Wiese, co-advised with John Zimmerman, working on understanding social relationships using smartphone and social network data
  • Eiji Hayashi, working on streamlining authentication in ubicomp and cloud computing environments
  • Sauvik Das, working on social dimensions of cybersecurity
  • Song Luan, working on large-scale analysis of smartphone apps
  • Dan Tasse, working on analytics and urban computing
Some alums of the CHIMPS group:
  • Karen Tang
  • Janne Lindqvist, now an asst prof at Rutgers
  • Polo Chau (with Christos Faloutsos and Niki Kittur), now an asst prof at Georgia Tech
  • Guang Xiang (with Carolyn Rose), now at Twitter
  • Jialiu Lin (with Norman Sadeh), now a privacy engineer at Google
  • Shah Amini, now at Google (previously Appthority)
  • Jun Ki Min, now at Motorola
  • Mike Villena, now at Appthority
  • Afsaneh Doryab
Some of My Writings and Other Stuff I Helped Create
Running Program Committees My Cybersecurity Advice (for general audiences) Design Patterns for Ubiquitous Computing Rapid Prototyping and Evaluation Tools Instructor Guides and Overviews Advice for PhD students and Grad School Applicants Odds and Ends The Design of Sites
I co-authored a book on web site design, which uses the notion of web design patterns as a way for facilitating the design of customer-centered web sites. Check out the web site for our book The Design of Sites. Our book has been translated into Polish, Chinese, Korean (and possibly other languages as well).
Currently Teaching (Spring 2015 and Summer 2015) Some Past Courses Taught
Current Service Some Past Service