National Science Foundation Highlights Bowdoin CS Professor

The National Science Foundation’s CS Bits & Bytes Newsletter, which highlights innovative computer science research, is featuring Assistant Professor Daniela Oliveira this month, partly “in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.” Oliveira is from Brazil.

The site recognizes the contributions Oliveira is making to cybersecurity. As social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to attract more users, criminal cyber activity has kept pace. “[Online social networks’] rise in popularity has been paralleled by an increase in the creativity and complexity of malware,” which often seeks to gain access to private information, the article says.

But thanks to the work of Oliveira, we all might breathe a bit easier. “Traditional models of cybersecurity use an automated and rigid system, without user-input, to determine whether an email address or a website is safe,” the article explains. “Dr. Daniela Oliveira of Bowdoin College in Maine had developed a creative model to make the Internet safer by leveraging user input.” Her model has users privately rate email addresses and websites based on their knowledge of how trustworthy a source is.

Oliveira is planning to adapt this model to help users access trustworthy information from specific communities in online social networks.

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