Biography

I am a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department, University of British Columbia. I am part of the Systopia Lab where we work on Systems research in a broad sense. 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. If you are considering a PhD or an MSc, please, check this. I am particularly looking for students with a background in Operating Systems and/or Machine Learning applied to systems problems.

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 a Lecturer (UK equivalent of Assistant Professor) in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bristol. I am an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Engineering Mathematics 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
Lecturer (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
 
 
 
 
 
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 the lab as a graduate student

There are several fully funded summer internships available to join my group for the Summer of 2023 via the MITACS Globalink Research Internship program. As an intern you will work on issues relating to systems monitoring, observability, and intrusion detection. You will be joining the Systopia Research Lab and will work closely with current graduate students and other interns.

Project IDs: 29177 and 29683.

You must apply on MITACS website before September 22, 2022. Please, review details of the application process carefully.

I am looking to work with students from all background (first generation students, and students from underrepresented and marginalized groups are encouraged to apply) and at all level (undergraduate students, master’s students, and PhD students). 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. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via e-mail but, please, do read the following suggestions before doing so.

Note: 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 contacting me

  • 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.
  • Only contact me if you need further precision/information. If you are planning to apply, please, do so through UBC system. I cannot process applications sent via e-mail.

What to send when contacting me?

  • CV/resume
  • Transcripts
  • Why do you want to work with me? (one paragraph)
  • Why do you want to work on this topic? (one paragraph)
  • Which paper(s) did you read and why did you find it interesting? (one paragraph)
  • Previous research experience (if any)
  • What research would you like to pursue during your degree?
  • Summary of research work you have conducted.

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

Recent Publications

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

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(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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(2020). Xanthus: Push-button Orchestration of Host Provenance Data Collection. ACM P-RECS'20.

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(2020). UNICORN: Runtime Provenance-Based Detector for Advanced Persistent Threats. NDSS'20.

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(2020). Rclean: A Tool for Writing Cleaner, More Transparent Code. In The Journal of Open Source Software.

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Graduate & Thesis Students

Past students (position held after graduation)

  • 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.

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