Darakhshan J. Mir

I am currently the Norma Wilentz Hess Fellow in the Department of Computer Science at Wellesley College.

Previously, I was a graduate student in Computer Science at Rutgers University. My advisor was Rebecca Wright.

You can contact me by:

  • Email: dmir at wellesley.
  • Office: E104, Science Center.
  • Phone: (781) 283-2881
  • (least preferred method)

If you'd like to chat about CS, my research or teaching, or any other thing, feel free to drop by my office (Science Center E104) or send me email.

This semester (Fall 2014) I am excited to be teaching CS114: The Socio-Technological Web.

In Spring 2015, I will teach a special topics course on Quantifying Data Privacy. Here is the website for the course from the offering in Spring 2014.

Research

My research interests are in the areas of statistical data privacy, specifically, differential privacy and its relationship to machine learning and to information theory. I examine the application of differential privacy to problems such as human mobility modeling, synthetic graph learning, regression in high dimensions, and computing functions of stream data. I am also interested in foundational approaches to privacy, in particular, the information-theoretic foundations of differential privacy.

More recently, with my students at Wellesley and MIT post-doctoral fellow Ilaria Liccardi, I am investigating the context-dependent, implicit and explicit privacy preferences of individuals when they share their data.

The Data Privacy Lab @ Wellesley

Here you can find more information about the Data Privacy Lab at Wellesley from Summer 2014.

Publications

Here is the list of my publications.

Mentoring and outreach

I enjoy contributing to, and being part of the, intellectual journey of my mentees and students. My favorite part of being a professor is the one-on-one interactions I have with my students.

I also like reaching out to students and learners outside academia. I have been a semester-long volunteer for an after-school program in Math, with the New York Academy of Sciences. I also taught and co-organized a summer robotics workshop using Arduino and Scratch to schoolgirls in Indian-administered Kashmir.

In graduate school, fellow graduate student Brian Thompson and I visited Piscataway High School with Rutgers CS faculty Fran Trees to talk to students about what Computer Science is, and what kinds of problems Computer Scientists solve. Here is a prezi of our talk.

Rutgers CS faculty and Director of DIMACS, Rebecca Wright (also my advisor), Douglass Project Dean, Elaine Zundl, co-ordinator Laura Stiltz, CS graduate student Monica Babes-Vroman, and I advised the Douglass-DIMACS Computing Corps, that "focuses on helping women succeed in computing while providing them with the opportunity to give back to the community and practice leadership."

Here you can find more information about my teaching and mentoring experiences.

Other interests

I love hiking and the outdoors. I love listening to Science (yay radiolab!) stories and reading fascinating accounts of exciting scientific discoveries, ideas and explanations. My friend Aatish Bhatia maintains a wonderful (award-winning!) Science blog that fulfills these criteria!

I love to knit, and if I had more time, I would do more mathematical knitting!