Archive for the 'Awards' Category

Alumna-Turned-Internet Security Expert Listed Among Nation’s Top Young Innovators

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Adrienne Porter Felt (SRG BSCS 2008) was selected as one of Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35.

UVA Today has an article:Alumna-Turned-Internet Security Expert Listed Among Nation’s Top Young Innovators, UVA Today, 21 September 2017.

Felt started working in security when she was a second-year engineering student, responding to a request from computer science professor David Evans, who taught the “Program and Data Representation” course. Evans said Felt stood out amongst her peers because of her “well-thought-out answers and meticulous diagrams.”

“For the summer after her second year, she joined a project one of my Ph.D. students was working on to use the disk drive controller to detect malware based on the reads and writes it makes that are visible to the disk,” Evans said. “She did great work on that project, and by the end of the summer was envisioning her own research ideas.

“She came up with the idea of looking at privacy issues in Facebook applications, which, back in 2007, was just emerging, and no one else was yet looking into privacy issues like this.”

Taking Evans’ offer for a research project was a turning point in Felt’s life, showing her something she liked that she could do well.

“It turned out that I really loved it,” she said. “I like working in privacy and security because I enjoy helping people control their digital experiences. I think of it as, ‘I’m professionally paranoid, so that other people don’t need to be.’”

In her final semester as an undergraduate student at UVA, Felt taught a student-led class on web browsers.

“Her work at Google has dramatically changed the way web browsers convey security information to users, making the web safer for everyone,” Evans said. “Her team at Google has been studying deployment of HTTPS, the protocol that allows web clients to securely communicate with servers, and has had fantastic success in improving security of websites worldwide, as well as a carefully designed plan to use browser interfaces to further encourage adoption of secure web protocols.

Congratulations Samee Zahur!

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Samee Zahur won the Computer Science Outstanding Graduate Research Award, our department’s annual award for the most outstanding graduate student. Congratulations to Samee on the much-deserved award! (Unfortunately, Samee wasn’t present to receive the award since he is in Sofia presenting his half gates work at Eurocrypt 2015.)

iDash Competition Winner

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Congratulations to Samee Zahur for winning the iDash Secure Genomics competition (Hamming Distance challenge task), sponsored by Human Longevity, Inc. A video of the event is available at

Samee’s solution was built using Obliv-C, and the code will be posted soon.

Congratulations Yuchen Zhou!

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Yuchen Zhou won the Rader Graduate Research Award for Computer Engineering! This award from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering recognizes outstanding research by a Computer Engineering PhD student.

Congratulations SRG Graduates

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 SRG Graduates!

Tianhao Tong (MCS), Dr. Yan Huang (PhD)

Jonathan Burket (BACS with Highest Distinction), William Melicher (BSCS, not pictured)

Congratulations Jonathan!

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Jonathan Burket has been recognized with a CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Honorable Mention. This award recognizes outstanding research by undergraduate students in North America.

Jonathan joined our research group as a first year student (recruited from cs1120) and has done several research projects focused on web security including working on GuardRails and leading a new research project on correlating web application state and requests with behavior such as database requests.

Congratulations to Jonathan!

Congratulations to Jiamin and Peter!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Jiamin Chen and Peter Chapman have been recognized by the Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award. This is the premier national award for undergraduate researchers in computer science.

Peter was selected as the Runner-Up, and Jiamin Chen was selected as an Honorable Mention.

Congratulations to Jiamin and Peter!

[Added 9 Dec] Here’s the CRA Announcement:

Peter Chapman – Male Runner-Up

2012 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Runner-Up
Senior at University of Virginia

Peter Chapman is a Senior at the University of Virginia majoring in Computer Science and Cognitive Science.

Computer security and privacy is a critical concern, especially when medical issues are involved. Peter developed a method for automatically searching web applications to find side-channel vulnerabilities in web applications. He applied new statistical tools to better describe these vulnerabilities. In the end, he determined that 88% of queries to Google Health could be recovered by an eavesdropping adversary.

Peter has also worked on secure computation, where parties collaborate on computing a function of two inputs without exposing the inputs to each other. He has proposed novel applications of secure computation in smartphones, and is working on an improved approach to mobile secure computation, relying on the network carrier to provide suitable streams of randomness.

NYU-Poly AT&T Applied Security Paper Finalist

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yan Huang has been selected as a finalist for the NYU-Poly AT&T Best Applied Security Paper Award for the paper, Faster Secure Two-Party Computation Using Garbled Circuits (USENIX Security 2011, co-authored with David Evans, Jonathan Katz, and Lior Malka). The award recognizes the best paper on applied security in any venue between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011.

The award will be announced at a ceremony as part of the CSAW Cybersecurity Competition in New York on 11 November.

UVERS Poster

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Congratulations to Yan Huang for winning an Honorable Mention at the University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium (UVERS) for his poster on privacy-preserving biometric matching.

The poster is here: [PDF (13MB)]

NSF Graduate Fellowships

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Congratulations to Adrienne Felt (BSCS 2008, now a PhD student at Berkeley) who won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship! The award provides 3 years of funding along with lots of prestige and glory.

Four other UVa students one NSF Graduate fellowships in Computer Science this year (two of whom are BACS students):

  • Sara Alspaugh, BACS 2009
  • Erika Chin, BSCS 2007 (now at Berkeley)
  • Linda Yang Liu, BS Biology 2008 (now at Stanford doing bioinformatics)
  • Rachel Miller, BACS 2009

No other school had 5 of its graduates win CS NSF Graduate fellowships — Princeton was second with 4, followed by MIT and UC Berkeley with 3 each.