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Summer Research in Ghana

Intern, Jay Chen's research group

In the summer before grad school, I worked with Jay Chen (of NYU Abu Dhabi) on a research project relating to computer security issues in developing regions. In particular, we explored techniques to distribute software updates to computers with intermittent Internet connectivity, or with no Internet connectivity at all.

As part of the research project, I traveled to a small town in Ghana to field test our idea in a region with relatively slow and unreliable Internet connectivity. I implemented the update distribution system in C# (since almost every computer in Ghana runs Windows) and installed it at Internet cafés, schools, and graphic design shops.

The project gave me a sense of the challenges of conducting research involving human subjects, especially outside of one's home country. It was also a great opportunity to apply my interest in computer security research in a completely unfamiliar context.

For more details about the project, take a look at our DEV paper on the system.

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