Tufts hosts security researchers

Tufts University recently hosted the first Annual Boston Security Usability Research Day.
Speaker standing in front of a blackboard that says ABSURD, with a Powerpoint projected onscreen.

Tufts University hosted the first Annual Boston Security Usability Research Day (ABSURD) on Friday, April 19. ABSURD is a regional event for Boston-area researchers to meet and discuss recent work in usable security and privacy, which focuses on understanding how users' perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes impact their use of security and privacy technologies, to make those technologies easier to use and better fit real users' needs. 

The event was organized by Lin Family Assistant Professor Daniel Votipka from the Tufts Department of Computer Science and by Assistant Professor Allison McDonald of Boston University. The Tufts Security and Privacy Lab helped host the event with the goal of sharing research and building the local community of usable security and privacy researchers. 

ABSURD featured 11 research talks, a panel discussion among local faculty, and breakout discussions among the event participants. Talks covered a wide range of topics, including medical system security, student privacy, security education, and content moderation on social media. Tufts computer science students who spoke included PhD students Ron Thompson, Samantha Katcher, and James Mattei, and undergraduate students Cordelia Ludden, E26, Matthew Soto, A25, and Christopher Pellegrini, E24.

ABSURD welcomed more than 40 participants from Tufts, Harvard University, Boston University, Northeastern University, New York University, University of Chicago, and MITRE, as well as other Boston-area companies and research groups. To learn more, visit absurd.cs.tufts.edu or check out Votipka’s research group. If you would like to be involved in funding future iterations of ABSURD, please contact Lin Family Assistant Professor Daniel Votipka at dvotipka@cs.tufts.edu


Computer Science