I chose to study at IST not only because of its academic prestige but also its expert faculties with diverse research interests and projects. Conducting research at Penn State lets students work with multiple experts on various state-of-the-art research problems.”
I chose to study at IST not only because of its academic prestige but also its expert faculties with diverse research interests and projects. I was initially a Ph.D. student at State University of New York but graduated with a master’s degree and transferred to Penn State because I loved it much more! Conducting research at Penn State lets students work with multiple experts on various state-of-the-art research problems and projects. The campus itself is also nice for taking a break from research and going for a short walk.
My research falls at the intersection of privacy, cybersecurity, and natural language processing. It consists of the use of machine learning-based approaches for timely and automated detection of doxing and malicious disclosures of private information in online social networks such as Twitter. I also study extremist groups such as ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), ISIS-K (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan Province), the Taliban, and anti-abortion movements to identify their propaganda and social media strategies for influencing people and gaining support around the world.
Extremist groups in any domain, including religion and politics, can have detrimental and dangerous impacts on people’s personal and professional lives. Therefore, identification of such malicious behavior and scrutinizing their online presence is crucial. Radical groups can be found everywhere and in various contexts. Having been born and lived in the Middle East, I have been staggeringly exposed to religious extremism and its devastating effects on innocent people—including my family, my friends, and myself. Identifying extremists, fighting against them, and mitigating their influence on people is my foremost and greatest motivation in my research.
Interdisciplinary research and the vast number of collaborations among students and faculty, plus the diverse and exciting research projects. This gives numerous options for choosing advisers and research areas. Additionally, professional collaborations among IST faculty members let students work on various projects with multiple professors and scholars and gain more experience.
Dr. Jack Carroll, the instructor for my course on computer-supported cooperative work, has made the biggest impact on me. At first I took the course to fulfill the requirements, but as the semester went on the course became more interesting and engaging. The way Dr. Carroll managed the class and activities helped me follow the material actively and get familiar with research areas and methods—some of which did not seem to be quite related to my areas of interest at first but helped me through my own research by expanding my perspective. I loved his class and greatly enjoyed discussing various topics with Dr. Carroll and my classmates.
I aim to enter industry and pursue my research interests through a more pragmatic approach and apply my skills, expertise, and ideas to real-world and more tangible problems to the (best) extent possible!
Last updated November 2022