Biography

I am a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department, University of British Columbia. I am part of the Systopia Lab (UBC’s Systems Group) and the UBC Security & Privacy Group. My research focuses on building more observable and transparent systems. I work on topics such as Digital Provenance, Auditing, Accountability, Intrusion Detection, and Systems Optimization. I recently received a Killam Connection award to create a new interdisciplinary course on Accountable Computer Systems, sitting at the intersection of Law, Sociology, and Computer Science. I am a member of the Green College’s (UBC) Common Room. I received an Amazon Research Awards to support my work on provenance-based intrusion detection.

I obtained my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jean Bacon in 2016 at the University of Cambridge (Jesus College). Before I joined UBC, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard’s Center for Research on Computation and Society, a Research Associate position in the Digital Technology Group at the University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellowship position at St Edmund’s College (University of Cambridge). I worked at the frontier of Law and Computer Science as part of the Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Centre. Finally, I worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol.

Interests
  • Digital Provenance
  • Operating Systems
  • Distributed Systems
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Intrusion Detection
Education
  • PhD in Computer Science, 2016

    University of Cambridge

  • MPhil in Advanced Computer Science, 2012

    University of Cambridge

  • Diplôme d'Ingénieur (apprenticeship), 2011

    Institut Supérieur d'Electronique de Paris

  • Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie (apprenticeship), 2008

    Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers

Experience

 
 
 
 
 
University of British Columbia
Assistant Professor
Jul 2021 – Present Canada
Member of the Department of Computer Science and member of the Systopia Lab.
 
 
 
 
 
University of Bristol
Assistant Professor
Aug 2018 – Jun 2021 United Kingdom
 
 
 
 
 
University of Cambridge
Research Associate
Dec 2017 – Aug 2018 United Kingdom
Member of the Digital Technology Group and Junior Fellow at St Edmund’s College.
 
 
 
 
 
Harvard University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Jul 2016 – Dec 2017 United States of America
 
 
 
 
 
University of Cambridge
Research Assistant
Jan 2013 – Jul 2016 United Kingdom
 
 
 
 
 
Gemalto
Apprentice Software Engineer
Sep 2008 – Aug 2011 France
R&D Team member.
 
 
 
 
 
Apprentice Electronic Engineer
Sep 2006 – Sep 2008 France
R&D Team member.

Joining my lab

Contacting me

If you are planning to apply, please, do so through the UBC system, if you select me as a potential supervisor in the online form, I will review your application. I cannot process applications sent via e-mail and I will not review application packages sent by e-mail. I do not process applications before the closing deadline (December 15th). The department receive around 2,000 applications every year and it takes a non-trivial amount of time to review them carefully. We aim (but cannot guarantee) for all applicants to hear back from us by mid-April. I will not discuss admission outside of the departmental admission process.

Outside of this, please feel free to contact me if you have specific research questions.

If you are enrolled in a PhD program outside of UBC and are considering joining my lab as a Visiting International Research Student. Please, review carefully the information provided on UBC website before contacting me. Ensure you have discussed with your home institution and supervisor first.

I am looking to work with students from all background (first generation students, and students from underrepresented and marginalized groups are encouraged to apply). Please, visit the prospective applicant page on UBC website and on the CS website. You can also find information about: financial support, application fee waivers, minimum requirements for admission into graduate studies, and minimum English proficiency requirements. You may also look at this page which describes my expectations when working with graduate students. Finally, you should have a look at UBC cost calculator.

The Master of Science in Computer Science at UBC is a research degree. Students are expected to conduct research, submit papers for publication, and eventually write a thesis. You can find more information on the university website. While applications are not reviewed with the same expectations as those of PhD applicants, you should clearly demonstrate you have an interest and the capacity to conduct research.

A few facts

  • You must apply online.
  • Do check the application deadline on UBC’s website.
  • The department starts processing applications in January for the next academic year.
  • Students are admitted by the department, not by individual faculty members.
  • Master and PhD applications are reviewed by the same committee. The PhD track is ideal for candidates who ultimately want to do a PhD, but do not feel ready yet.
  • Even if you are well fitted for my group, I cannot guarantee admission.

Before applying

  • Have a look at my publications.
  • Identify matching interests.
  • Understand that I will not supervise students outside of my area of expertise.
  • Find a set of papers which aligns with your interests.
  • Read the abstracts.
  • Read at least one paper in full.

What to address in your statement of intent?

  • Check the guidelines on the department website
  • An SoI must address the three following points: 1) show you know what is research, 2) describe the research you have done, and 3) discuss what research you would like to do.
  • The SoI is not about your life story.
  • The relationship between a student and their advisor is an extremely important one and it will hopefully last for years.
  • The commonality of interest should be clear from your statement.
  • Listing half a dozen potential advisors from very different areas is most probably detrimental to your application.
  • On the other hand, co-supervision is common and can be very positive.
  • Therefore, link clearly potential advisors to your experience and your aspirations.
  • Everything else being equal, an applicant that understands and shows why they should be working with a specific advisor are more likely to be successful.
  • This is my personal opinion and may not be universally true.

If you get an offer letter

  • Do not hesistate to get in touch to discuss specific details.
  • Funding amounts on the offer letter is a guaranteed minimum, do contact me to discuss the actual amount.
  • Apply for graduate accomodation as early as possible. Check the information online.

Recent Publications

(2024). FetchBPF: Customizable Prefetching Policies in Linux with eBPF. USENIX ATC'24.

Cite

(2024). Computational Experiment Comprehension using Provenance Summarization. ACM REP'24.

PDF Cite

(2024). Kairos: Practical Intrusion Detection and Investigation using Whole-system Provenance. IEEE S&P'24.

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(2023). Unleashing Unprivileged eBPF Potential with Dynamic Sandboxing. SIGCOMM Workshop on eBPF and Kernel Extensions.

PDF Cite DOI

(2022). A large-scale study on research code quality and execution. Nature Scientific Data.

PDF Cite DOI

(2021). Secure Namespaced Kernel Audit for Containers. ACM SoCC'21.

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(2021). SIGL: Securing Software Installations Through Deep Graph Learning. USENIX Sec'21.

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(2020). To Tune or Not to Tune? In Search of Optimal Configurations for Data Analytics. ACM KDD'20.

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Teaching

UBC
CPSC 436A: Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2024-2025 Winter 1 (September)
CPSC 538S: Accountable Computer Systems 2023-2024 Winter 2 (January)
CPSC 436A: Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2023-2024 Winter 1 (September)
CPSC 538P: Topic in Computer Systems: Systems Security 2022-2023 Winter 2 (January)
CPSC 436A: Operating Systems Design and Implementation 2022-2023 Winter 1 (September)
Bristol
COMS20012: Computer Systems B (Operating Systems & Security) 2020-2021 TB2 (January)
COMSM0050: Systems and Software Security 2020-2021 TB1 (September)
COMSM1500: Systems Security 2019-2020 TB1 (September)
COMSM1500: Systems Security 2018-2019 TB1 (September)

Service

Program Committee

Reviewer/External

Organization

  • USENIX TaPP Program Chair 2020, Program co-Chair 2021
  • IEEE IC2E Publicity Chair 2017, Tutorial Chair 2021

Graduate & Thesis Students

Current Students

Visiting Students

Past students (position held after graduation)

  • Jinyuan Liang (MSc student, UBC), Security Analyst, WeBank.
  • Mayank Tiwary (MSc student, UBC) co-supervised with Ivan Beschastnikh, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.
  • Bogdan Stelea (MEng, Bristol), 2021, Software Engineer, Amazon.
  • Josh Turner (MEng, Bristol), 2021, Software Engineer, Amiosec.
  • Chetankumar Mistry (MEng, Bristol), 2020, Software Engineer, ARM.
  • Xiaoxiao Wu (MSc, Bristol), 2020, Consultant, Deloitte.
  • Yangyang Teng (MSc, Bristol), 2019, Data Analyst, Bloomberg.
  • Ziying Shao (BSc, Bristol), 2019, UG Researcher, Beijing Institute of Big Data Research.

Contact