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Ahmad is a PhD student in the Computer Science program at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science, advised by Professor Christo Wilson. A native of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Ahmad earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.
Ahmad’s field of study is networked systems, and his research area includes systems and networks. With prior experience in studying social networks, including detecting malicious social network behavior, he is also a part of the Social Networks Group at Northeastern. His current work at Northeastern involves researching how online advertisement works and how it affects the privacy of online users. Ahmad hopes to make online networks more transparent for users, so they are able to make safe, informed decisions, when it comes to how they handle their private and personal information.
- BS in Computer Science, Lahore University of Management Sciences – Pakistan
- Hometown: Bahawalpur, Pakistan
- Field of Study: Networked Systems
- PhD Advisor: Christo Wilson
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
I am a PhD student advised by Professor Christo Wilson. My work focuses on understanding security and privacy implications in large online systems.
What are your research interests?
My research revolves around understanding the security and privacy implications of large-scale online systems. Currently, I am focused on studying the online advertising ecosystem on the web to understand how it impacts user privacy. I am also interested in the research surrounding Threat Exchangedata. I have previosuly worked on projects aimed at limiting abuse on online services such as Facebook and Twitter.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I would like to make online systems more transparent to users to enable users to make informed decisions regarding their personal information (on these systems).
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
The most interesting thing I find about my work is that one can understand the working of very complex systems by collecting and analyzing data about it. I am looking at online ad-networks to understand how they exchange user information. This is a very complicated process, but we have a very good understanding of it now, courtesy of the data we collected using retargeted ads.
What are your research or career goals, going forward?
I would like to earn a position in academia.
Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?
I grew up in a small town of Pakistan called Bahawalpur. However, I lived in Lahore for almost 10 years.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
I received my undergraduate degree in computer science from Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS), located in Lahore, Pakistan. Lahore is one of the largest cities in Pakistan and it is known as the educational hub of the country. I decided to join LUMS because their faculty focused a lot on research at the undergraduate level.