Redmiles Accepts Tenure-Track Faculty Position at Princeton University

Published May 21, 2019

Elissa Redmiles, a graduating computer science doctoral student working in the Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2), has received an academic appointment as an assistant professor at Princeton University.

She will assume the position in Fall 2020 following a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Microsoft Research.

Redmiles’s research is focused on security and privacy. She uses computational, economic and social science methods to understand users’ security and privacy decision-making processes. This includes designing systems that enhance online security equitably across different groups of users.

Redmiles is advised by Michelle Mazurek, an assistant professor of computer science with joint appointments in MC2 and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab.

“Elissa is an incredible researcher—creative, rigorous, and with excellent taste in research problems,” Mazurek says. “It’s been a privilege to collaborate with her as her adviser, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things she does next in her new position. Princeton is very lucky to have her!”

Jonathan Katz, a professor of computer science and director of MC2, adds, “Elissa stands out even among the other exceptional students we are fortunate to have in MC2. I have enjoyed watching her develop as a researcher, and know she will go on to further successes as a faculty member.”

Redmiles and Mazurek have collaborated on several projects, including producing an “edutainment” video to educate users about the importance of software updating in a simple and relatable way.

The 3-minute video, created with the help of George Mason University’s Film and Video Studies Program, was the result of an experiment carried out by Mazurek, Redmiles and a team of UMD computer science masters and doctoral students.

Their work showed that users often struggle to stay digitally secure. Despite a multitude of security advice, they find it challenging to identify threats and develop appropriate behaviors to prevent potential attacks on their computers and smart phones, especially in complex domains such as software updating.

While at Maryland, Redmiles has been the recipient of the John Karat Usable Privacy and Security Student Research Award, the USENIX Security Distinguished Paper Award, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, and a Facebook Fellowship.

She says she has enjoyed her time at MC2 and is excited for the next step in her career.

“It was a pleasure to start my career as a researcher learning from and collaborating with Professor Mazurek,” Redmiles says. “Working at MC2 provided me with access to a broad set of faculty mentors in different areas of security. This broad exposure and community was very helpful in preparing for a career in academia.”

—Story by Melissa Brachfeld