PhD in Computer Science Alumna Profile: Aylin Caliskan

Aylin Caliskan
PhD in Computer Science alumna Aylin Caliskan, who as a student developed novel privacy attacks to de-anonymize programmers using code stylometry, discusses her experience at Drexel.

Aylin Caliskan is an assistant professor of computer science at The George Washington University. Her research interests include the emerging science of bias in machine learning, fairness in artificial intelligence, data privacy, and security. Her work aims to characterize and quantify aspects of natural and artificial intelligence using a multitude of machine learning and language processing techniques. Previously, Aylin served as a postdoctoral research associate at Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP), an interdisciplinary center at Princeton University. Her work at CITP centered on two main realms, security and privacy, and involved the use of machine learning and natural language processing. In her previous work, she demonstrated that de-anonymization is possible through analyzing linguistic style in a variety of textual media, including social media, cybercriminal forums, and source code. She extended her de-anonymization work to include non-textual data such as binary files and developing countermeasures against de-anonymization. Aylin's other research interests include quantifying and classifying human privacy behavior and designing privacy nudges to avoid private information disclosure as a countermeasure. At Princeton University, she worked with Dr. Arvind Narayanan on text sanitization of sensitive documents for public disclosure, which can enable researchers to share data with linguists, sociologists, psychologists, and computer scientists without breaching the research subjects' privacy. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Drexel University and a Master of Science in Robotics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Why did you enroll in this program?

I enrolled in this program to do research with great faculty.

With what faculty did you work?

Dr. Rachel Greenstadt

What did you enjoy most about the PhD in Computer Science program?

I really enjoyed the encouraging and helpful professors in the Department of Computer Science.

What was the best part of your experience at Drexel?

Working on exciting research topics with my advisor and attending conferences.

In what way did your studies at CCI prepare you for your career?

I was able to get an understanding of good quality research.

What would be your advice to incoming students?

Keep your mind open, find interesting problems that you would love working on, and you will enjoy the time solving them like nothing else.


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