Compliance by Design - Freshman Summer (2020)

This is the research project I did during the summer of 2020 as my UTRA. Compliance by Design is a research project started by Malte Schwarzkopf of the Brown University Systems Group. It’s aim is to design systems that make it easy to make databases (either pre-existing databases or to-be databases) GDPR compliant. Here’s part of the adbstract:

New laws like GDPR mean that database maintainers must now be able to respond to SARs (user requests for all their data). Usually, this means they have to manually make queries to comb through their database – this is tedious and error prone. We wanted to design a system that could do this automatically for new and existing databases, and tested and evaluated different ways of implementing said hypothetical system in PostgreSQL. Ideally, this system should not have to depend on explicitly defined foreign key constraints to generate its SAR reports. Our findings show that a promising approach would be a system that maintains database shards for user data using custom, potentially nested, indexes. The system would make use of lightweight annotations by the database developer to determine which data goes into whose shard, and use developer-provided redaction predicates to ensure sensitive data doesn’t leak into the SAR report.

My full work can be found on GitHub, and a poster summarizing my findings can be found here.

Browser Lightfield Editor - Freshman Spring (2020)

During my freshman spring I worked for Professor James Thompkin, who is part of Brown’s Visual Computing Group. During this time, I improved an in-browser Looking Glass lightfield editor that one of his former masters intern created.

I completely refactored and revamped the front end of the application, and also refactored part of the backend and optimized it. Unfortunately, at the time I left the project, it was still active research and hence the Github repository was private. Maybe, by the time you’re reading this, it’ll be public now.