Thomas Pasquier

Thomas Pasquier

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computer Science

University of Bristol


I will be joining the University of British Columbia in Summer 2021. If you are considering a PhD, please, check this. I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Bristol in the Department of Computer Science. I am a member of the Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Centre where we explore research topics at the intersection of Computer Science and Law. Before joining the University of Bristol, I held fellowships at Harvard University and the University of Cambridge. I obtained my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jean Bacon in 2016 at the University of Cambridge.

My primary research focus is the development of more transparent computer systems; my research includes topics such as whole-system provenance, computational experiments reproducibility, intrusion detection, privacy and compliance.

  • Digital Provenance
  • Operating Systems
  • Distributed Systems
  • Data Protection and Privacy
  • Internet of Things
  • Intrusion Detection
  • 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

Working with me


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 matters on the CS website. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via e-mail but, please, do read the following suggestions before doing so.

A few facts

  • 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.
  • 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.

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)
  • Summary of your undergraduate/master thesis (if any)

Statement of Intent

  • Check the guidelines on the department website
  • The relationship between a student and their advisor is an extremely important one
  • It is a collaboration that will 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

Some ideas

  • By observing workload executions it is possible to optimize the configuration of a big data analytics framework [1,2,3]. How far can such techniques be improved? Can we apply similar techniques to other domains? What are the obstacles to a practical deployment?
  • Provenance-based intrusion detection [4,5] open new opportunities in intrusion detection research. Further, we have demonstrated that capture and runtime processing were practical [6,7]. How far can we improve such techniques? Can we learn from more traditional host-based intrusion detection techniques? Can we improve capture accuracy and trustworthiness while reducing overhead? Can we automatically explain an intrusion?


Past students

  • Chetankumar Mistry (MEng, Bristol), 2020, ARM.
  • Xiaoxiao Wu (MSc, Bristol), 2020, TBC.
  • Yangyang Teng (MSc, Bristol), 2019, Innovez.
  • Ziying Shao (BSc, Bristol), 2019, Beijing Institute Of Big Data Research.


Lecturer/Assistant Professor
August 2018 – Present UK
Research Associate
December 2017 – August 2018 UK
Member of the Digital Technology Group and Fellow at St Edmund’s College.
Postdoctoral Fellow
July 2016 – December 2017 USA
Research Assistant
January 2013 – July 2016 UK
Apprentice Software Engineer
September 2008 – August 2011 France
R&D Team member.
Apprentice Electronic Engineer
September 2006 – September 2008 France
R&D Team member.

Recent Publications

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

PDF Cite

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

PDF Cite Project

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

PDF Cite Project

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

PDF Cite Code Project DOI

(2019). ProvMark: A Provenance Expressiveness Benchmarking System. ACM/IFIP Middleware'19.

PDF Cite Project

(2019). From Here to Provtopia. Springer Poly'19.

PDF Cite Project

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Teaching & Service

I teach/taught the following units at the University of Bristol:

I am the Study Abroad Academic Director for the Department of Computer Science. If you have questions about exchange program as an incoming or outgoing student, please, do get in touch.

I run a reading group on Network, Software and Systems Security, the list of paper is online.

List of undergraduate project suggestions.