I'm currently an application security engineer at Pinterest. I grew up in Prospect Heights, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, did my undergrad at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in computer science and mathematics, and got my masters degree from UCSD in computer security and cryptography. In my free time, I enjoy programming and security competitions (CTFs). I also love doing stuff outdoors like hiking, camping, and ecological restoration. Scroll down to find out more or you can contact me through the links at the bottom of the page.
I completed my Computer Science Masters at University of California San Diego focusing on cryptography and computer security in March 2014. While a student, I took many courses related to distributed systems, computer security and policy, and cryptography and participated in the systems and security research groups. My research was mostly focused on the security of computer systems on aircraft with my thesis analyzing the security of Mobile Cockpit Information Systems. This research looked at the growing use of systems that used tablet computers and devices called ADS-B receivers to relay navigational, weather, and traffic data to the pilot. As a part of the UCSD Aerosec research group, our research was accepted at CCS 2014 in a publication called "On The Security of Mobile Cockpit Information Systems." Also while at UCSD I participated in the ACM programming competition team and the UCSD Security CTF team, SIGINT.
I obtained my bachelor's degree from University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in Computer Science and Mathematics in May 2009. I graduated in three years with Highest Departmental Distinction, Cum Laude, Edmund J. James Scholar Honors, and Phi Eta Sigma Honor Cords. Besides being involved in hackathons and computer science events, I also served as a course assistant for CS125 (an introductory computer science course for computer science majors), participated in the Putnam exam (a crazy hard math contest), and held an officer position in Red Bison Ecological Restoration Club, an on-campus prairie restoration group.
While at UIUC, I studied abroad in fall of 2011 at University College London. At UCL, I took two masters courses in cryptography and computer security and an algorithm and operating systems course. I also got involved with the UCLU hiking and walking club where I became a hike leader and webmaster for the semester.
In April 2014, I started working full time as the first Application Security Engineer at Pinterest. At Pinterest, I work to protect pinners by securing our web and mobile applications in addition to our many internal tools. I work on designing and building out our security infrastructure, performing security reviews on new and existing features, and doing incident response.
In the summer of 2013, I worked at Google Boulder on the billing security team. My main project was working on keyczar, an open source cryptography library that makes cryptography easier to use for developers. I built an interoperability testing framework for ensuring compatibility between different languages that was extensible. This tool is now used to test interoperability between Java, Python, C++, C#, and Go versions of keyczar. I also worked on enhancements and bug fixes for keyczar and keymaster, the internal version of keyczar and took part in the early design of K2, the successor for keyczar. I am still a developer on the keyczar project.
During the summer of 2011, I worked at SFM Technology, a startup that helps bridge the gap between ECAD and MCAD software for circuit board design. Here I designed and implemented algorithms for 3D modeling and manipulation of circuit boards for their PackageWright software using Python.
While I was in my second year at UIUC, I worked at the University of Illinois Graduate College helping manage their servers and databases. I worked with IT staff to maintain and add functionality to the college's databases and websites including implementing an encryption scheme for SSNs.
I love being outdoors. When I was younger, I was a Boy Scout and went camping as often as I could. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout through a project that involved planting and maintaining 157 trees in a local park. During my study abroad in London, I got involved with the UCLU Hiking and Walking club where I led 7 hikes throughout the semester throughout the London area using knowledge I gained through Boy Scouts.
I try to participate in as many hackathons as possible. Quickly developing an app using frameworks like Rails, NodeJS, Flask, or Django is a lot of fun.
At UIUC, I got involved with Red Bison Ecological Restoration Group. In Red Bison, I helped remove invasive species, participated in prairie burns, and got really interested in helping the environment.