About Me

Bio

I am a senior majoring in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Chris Fletcher. On campus, I've been involved in research, teaching, and the student community. As a member of Security and Privacy Research at Illinois, I work in the domain of hardware and systems security, where I study microarchitectural side-channel attacks. I am also interested in privacy-preserving computation, usable security, Internet security and privacy, and distributed systems. I am the lead course assistant for Illinois CS 241: System Programming. In the past, I've helped organize HackIllinois and the Reflections | Projections technology conference. I've had industry experience through software engineering internships at Salesforce and Virtusa. I am currently a Software Engineering Intern in the Privacy and Data Use org at Facebook.

Meeting me / getting in touch

If you'd like to get to know me personally or meet me (e.g. just to chat, or for a meal), I welcome such opportunities; click the link below. Please be sure to leave a short note about yourself and why you'd like to meet me. Short of that, feel free to add me on Facebook (again, with a note, please), or email me. I love meeting new people, and find cultivating good relationships with people to be a source of strength.

Non-academic interests / Things I enjoy talking about

Board game strategies, bubble tea places around the world, education, electronic music, investing, mental health, music production, philosophy, productivity tips, psychology, romantic relationships, startups, table tennis, tennis, tech news, venture capitalism

Hiring me

I'm looking for opportunities in the security, privacy, and systems space. Please reach out via email if you're offering the following opportunities!

  • Graduate Research Assistant (Ph.D.) - starting Fall 2021
  • Research/Software Engineering Intern - starting Summer 2021

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Research

Talks

  1. PRISM: Protections Impeding Side-channel Attacks in Microarchitecture,

    Illinois Computer Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), August 2020

  2. Broadway: Scaling Programming Education Through a Distributed Autograding Framework,

    Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 2020

Publications

  1. Opening Pandora's Box: A Systematic Study of New Ways Microarchitecture Can Leak Private Data

    Jose Rodrigo Sanchez Vicarte, Pradyumna Shome, Adam Morrison, David Kohlbrenner, and Christopher W. Fletcher. In preparation for International Symposium for Computer Architecture (ISCA). May 2021.

Experience

FacebookSoftware Engineering Intern·September 2020 - Present
  • Privacy Control Infrastructure, Privacy and Data Use Org

  • Building a highly structured, loosely coupled, and decentralized framework to support 2 billion daily mutations to profile-level privacy settings, using Ent, an internal entity framework and Hack (PHP)

  • Framework simplifies legal compliance, improves developer experience, and reduces the impact of high-severity incidents

  • Creating data migration scripts to transition users to the new framework, and ensuring privacy policies have identical behaviors through trace equivalence checking

Coding TogetherSection Leader, CS 50: Introduction to Computer Science·June 2020 - August 2020
  • A Stanford Rebuild project offering free computer science education during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Lead weekly section teaching students C programming

Stanford UniversitySection Leader, CS 106A: Programming Methodologies·April 2020 - June 2020
  • Instructors: Prof. Chris Piech and Prof. Mehran Sahami

  • Lead weekly section teaching students introductory Python programming

  • Prepared mini-lectures to re-iterate concepts, faciltated pair programming exercises for practice, and provided instruction in code decomposition and best practices in code style

  • Answer student questions on online Q&A forum Ed

  • Discussed CS applications for people outside the tech industry, and potential next steps for deepening knowledge in the field

FPSG, Security and Privacy Research at IllinoisResearch Assistant·August 2019 - Present
  • Advisor: Prof. Christopher W. Fletcher

  • UIUC CS Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Participant, Summer 2020

  • Project: Relationship Between Cache Compression and Dynamic Overclocking

    • Investigating the effects of dynamic overclocking and cache compression on memory access times and CPU temperature
    • Using Intel VTune to analyze the program control flow and hot spots
  • Project: Static and Dynamic IFT for Tracking Private Information Leakage

    • Researching and using tools that perform static/dynamic code analysis and annotate code with securitylabels based on lattice-based access control models
    • Studying how modern computer architectural features such as speculative execution, multiple issue,and out of order execution make hardware increasingly prone to microarchitectural cache, timing, and contention-based side-channel attacks
    • Devising novel schemes and improving existing schemes to prevent data leakage on processors, through taint analysis, information flow tracking (IFT), and analysis of branch predictor design
  • Project: Microarchitectural Optimizations Vulnerable To Side-channel Attacks

    • Conducting extensive literature survey on vulnerabilities in hardware security topics
    • Identifying vulnerable code patterns in open-source software, and brainstorming real-world threat models that enable end-to-end exploitation
    • Implementing hardware optimizations in gem5 processor simulator’s O3CPU
    • Analyzing pipeline diagrams to help debug instructions flow through various stages
    • Developing multiple iterations of litmus tests to ensure memory correctness
Blender Lab, NLP Research at IllinoisResearch Assistant·August 2019 - December 2019
  • Advisor: Prof. Heng Ji

  • Conducting literature survey on event schema induction from multi-{media, lingual} representations using graph neural nets (GNNs).

  • Annotating videos for Yoga Robot, and learning more about the benefits of Attention Models and Transformers in encoding long-term phrase dependencies.

  • Participate in NLP Reading Group and Seminar - discussion of recent papers in the field of information extraction and natural language understanding

SalesforceSoftware Engineering Intern·June 2019 - August 2019
  • Records Experience, Platform Cloud

  • Created web app to automatically suggest test plans for a new user story, through natural language processing of the acceptance criteria, using JavaScript (ES2017), Apex, SOQL, Web Components, and Jest for unit tests.

  • Reduced 13 engineering work days spent manually compiling test plans per sprint planning session.

  • Developed UI for Einstein Modeling’s first Business Card Scanner, that uses OCR and Named Entity Recognition to automate the organization of business contact information.

  • Ideated and built intern-matching social app using Python and Jinja, that helps bolster personal connections and surfaces common interests.

University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignLead Course Assistant, CS 241: System Programming·January 2019 - Present
  • Instructor: Prof. Lawrence Angrave

  • Recipient of the Outstanding Course Assistant Award by the Department of Computer Science, for my efforts at improving the course

  • Lead the assignment development team, continually updating assignments, and ensuring they help meet learning objectives

  • Teach a lab section, conduct office hours, and develop assignments to help students learn Linux system programming concepts

  • Contribute content to and maintain course textbook and website, and conduct technical and behavioral interviews for prospective staff members

  • Teach a lab section, conduct office hours, manage course logistics, onboard and mentor new staff, and answer student questions on online Q&A platform

University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignCourse Assistant, CS 233: Computer Architecture·August 2018 - December 2018
  • Instructor: Prof. Geoffrey L. Herman

  • Lead a problem-solving discussion section, and conduct office hours, helping students reinforce their understanding of computer architecture concepts, such as combinatorial and sequential logic, machine datapath, instruction set architectures, instruction level parallelism, vectorization, caching, and code optimization

VirtusaSoftware Engineering Intern·July 2018 - August 2018
  • Media and Content Division

  • Created serverless cloud app and supporting data lake to model, process, and aggregate computer vision data for predictive analytics, using Python, AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon DynamoDB

  • Implemented reference business intelligence (BI) tool, using NLP generative models (LDA, NTM) to gain insights on social media reactions to popular films and TV shows, using Boto 3, Amazon QuickSight, and Amazon SageMaker

HackIllinoisSystems Developer·April 2018 - February 2019
  • Developed Go microservices to enable user authentication, authorization, event registration, and notifications via mobile app clients, including CI / CD pipeline (Travis, AWS CodePipeline, Amazon ECS).

  • Added features such as user mocking, OAuth single sign-on, multi-tier decision review, templated mail, error handling and CRUD (with MongoDB).

  • Created QR code scanner in Android app to manage event check-in and track participant statistics for meals and mini-events.

  • Used MkDocs, a Markdown documentation generator to create a dedicated documentation website for API consumers.

Reflections | ProjectionsDirector of Web Team | Lead Web Developer·January 2018 - September 2018
  • Principal full-stack developer of website written in ES6 using ReactJS, Webpack, and Nginx.

  • Integrated microservices-based in-house registration API that brought in 2200+ applicants.

  • Mentored junior developers through code review and pair programming.

Ashwini Charitable TrustVolunteer, Web Development·April 2016 - May 2016
  • Built mockups of proposed new website from scratch.

  • Migrated website to Wordpress, to allow anyone to create and update content without having to resort to technical tools.

  • Incorporated search engine optimization to better target volunteers and potential donors.

Awards and Honors

2020

  1. Malwarebytes Cybersecurity Scholarship, Malwarebytes
  2. Illinois Engineering Achievement Scholarship, UIUC Grainger College of Engineering
  3. Outstanding Course Assistant Award, UIUC Department of Computer Science

2019

  1. Kleiner Perkins Engineering Fellowship Finalist, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  2. Illinois Engineering Achievement Scholarship, UIUC Grainger College of Engineering
  3. Forbes Under 30 Scholar, Forbes

2018

  1. Illinois Engineering Achievement Scholarship, UIUC Grainger College of Engineering

2017

  1. Edmund J. James Scholar Program, UIUC Grainger College of Engineering
  2. AP Scholar with Distinction, College Board

Music

I am enjoying listening to and playing music. Although I frequently explore new styles, my go-to genres are Western art music, rock, tropical house, and big room house. I have been playing the piano for several years and have tried my hand at production. Enjoy listening to some of my early efforts at digital music composition. Feel free to follow my Spotify.

Contact Me