Computer Security, Privacy and Cryptography

Adam Aviv standing in the science and engineering hall

Computer Security, Privacy and Cryptography

Computer security, privacy and cryptography research seeks to develop new techniques, protocols, and systems for privacy-preserving, robust operations in adversarial settings, while also ensuring that resulting systems are usable and practical for real-world impact.

Research in computer, security and cryptography at GW try to answer questions such as:

  • How do we design secure and efficient applications using cryptographic primitives?
  • How do human factors impact the security and privacy of complex systems?
  • How do we ensure that elections can be securely and privately audited?
  • How do we guarantee individual privacy in the face of large-scale data analysis?


Research Highlights

Professors Adam Aviv and Yasemin Acar
Professors Adam Aviv and Yasemin Acar co-direct the GW Usable Security and Privacy Lab (GWUSEC). The lab focuses on human factors that influence the security and privacy of systems and the users of those systems. For example, Professor Aviv has conducted extensive research on how users choose authentication (PINs, passwords, etc.) on their mobile devices, and Professor Acar has explored how software developers consider security and privacy in designing and implementing large systems. More recently, they have focused on topics including: password managers, privacy managers, data breaches, and security/privacy in educational settings.

Professor Arkady Yerukhimovich
Professor Arkady Yerukhimovich leads research on applied and theoretical cryptography.  His research focuses on building provably-secure protocols to enable parties to collaborate to extract global information from personal, private data.  For example, Professor Yerukhimovich has developed protocols to enable large-scale secure multi-party computations and used them to privately measure statistics of the Tor network. Additionally, he has developed improved systems for secure database search and for fake news identification in end-to-end encrypted messaging systems.

Professor Poorvi Vora
Professor Poorvi Vora is making sure every vote gets counted correctly and securely. Her research on verifiable voting systems puts the theory of cryptography to practice so voters in an election can audit outcomes without requiring them to rely on the trustworthiness of election technology or unobserved election processes. The software developed by Professor Vora's team—including several GW undergraduate and graduate students—has been used to run verifiable municipal elections and is integrated as an option in the election audit software package used by election officials in 2020.

Lab Websites:



adam aviv



yasemin acar



poorvi vora



arkady yerukhimovich



Lance Hoffman


Lance Hoffman
Distinguished Research Professor



Rachelle Heller


Rachelle Heller
Professor Emeritus



costis toregas


Costis Toregas
Lead Research Scientist