I’m a 23 years old PhD student in Computer Science. I do my PhD at University College London, both in the CREST Centre and Information Security group. I am supervised by Jens Krinke and Angela Sasse, and funded by a UCL Computer Science Department Excellence studentship. I graduated last year from INSA Rennes (where I did a MRes of Computer Science) and ENSI of Bourges (local equivalent of a MSc of Computer Security Engineering), and I worked in Inria as a research engineer where I tried to run VR simulations on distributed systems. Prior to that, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree of Computer Science from the University of Montpellier II with First Honours.
I’ve been contributing to free and open-source software for about a year, by working on the Xubuntu Linux distribution, as well as several pieces of software (Exaile and tiny bits of Xfce, mostly). Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the time to do it any more, so I merely contribute some patches to the bugs in my own pieces of software. I still occasionally pop-up on FOSS projects IRCs to discuss usability and to report bugs.
If there is anything you want to know about me, please contact me!
I have contributed to the following projects in the past:
- Xubuntu, an XFCE based GNU/Linux distribution, contributing to various ways, by reviewing applications for use in Xubuntu, writing software meant to improve user experience, translating apps and documentation, and mostly by pissing the Xubuntu developers off all day long with my opinions.
- Exaile, a python music player, as an external developer proposing feature- and bugfix- patches as a consequence for it’s use in Xubuntu – I’m very likely to keep working on Exaile when I find time for it
I also wrote (and am meant to maintain) the following software:
- RezTorrent, a CLI bittorrent client with very little dependencies, as it’s lead developer. RZ was meant to evolve as the most interesting choice for seeding servers, but is currently not maintained since neither I nor the other developer can’t find the time to do the code re-factoring it requires.
- Xfce4 Volume Daemon, as it’s developer and maintainer. XVD is used to control the volume keys and show synchronous volume notifications in Xubuntu. Nothing extraordinary here, though…
- Context-Editor, an application for editing, visualizing and checking basic properties on the security properties used by Contextd, an application firewall written by Martin Peres, for the research team Security and Distributed Systems of the Laboratoire d’Informatique Fondamentale d’Orléans (LIFO). Both pieces of software are part of the PIGA-SYSTRANS software suite.
During my stay in Inria, I wrote a prototype of VR simulator that runs collision detection in a fully distributed way. This prototype was written with Free software (Bullet Physics, Ogre 3D and Qt). My work led to a publication on the feasibility of collision detection on distributed systems, to appear in GRAPP 2013. My former supervisor Valérie Gouranton is looking for students with an interest in distributed systems and constraint solving to continue this project and implement fully distributed collision handling.
I have co-founded the Shimmer Project with Pasi Lallinaho. It relates to design and artwork for desktop environments and applications. It was short before I had too much work to keep working on FOSS, so Pasi is now managing Shimmer on his own with help from Simon Steinbeiß. It is for us all a side-project, and the team is very close to the Xubuntu development team.
I am interested in several aspects of security for end users, that don’t incur exaggerated management costs on them, and that blend within their desktop environments and applications. My PhD is about looking for ways to limit the consequences of malware by enforcing the principle of least privilege on desktop environments, with as little friction as possible for end users.
I am also interested in general in applications of access control, information flow control, taint analysis and trusted computing to desktop systems’ security. I worked in the past on tools to support the development and visualization of policies, and am interested in security policy decision support in general. I believe that supporting security management and lowering security’s daily cost for users are the key challenges to address in order to allow for tools to be used and to have actual, real-world impact.
“SODA: A Scalability-Oriented Distributed & Anticipative Model for Collision Detection in Physically-based Simulations” Steve Dodier-Lazaro, Quentin Avril and Valerie Gouranton. To appear in GRAPP 2013.