Roxana Geambasu


450 Computer Science
Mail Code: 0401

Tel(212) 853-8432

Roxana Geambasu’s research spans broad areas of computer systems, including distributed systems, security and privacy, operating systems, and applications of cryptography and machine learning to systems problems. Much of Roxana’s ongoing research aims to develop a new model for privacy for today’s web data-driven world. Today’s web, a complex ecosystem, is largely driven by the collection and monetization of personal data. Many web services, mobile applications, and third-party trackers collect and use personal data for varied purposes, e.g., to target ads, personalize recommendations, and fine-tune prices. At present, users have no window into how their data is being used and there is little or no accountability required of the services, raising the risk for deceptive and unfair practices.

Research Interests

Distributed systems, security and privacy, operating systems, cloud computing, mobile computing, big data, Internet of Things.

Geambasu and her team seek a new model for how to address such personal privacy issues.  Geambasu envisions a web environment where users are more aware of the privacy consequences of their online actions and make more informed decisions about the services they use. In her model, services and applications are held accountable for their actions and are explicitly constructed to protect user privacy. To forge this new web ecosystem, Roxana and her team design, build, and evaluate: (1) new transparency tools that increase society’s oversight regarding how applications use personal data in order to detect and deter unfair and deceptive practices; (2) new development tools that assist programmers in building applications that are privacy-preserving by design; and (3) new abstractions for responsible data management that promote and facilitate a more rigorous and selective approach to data collection and retention.

Roxana is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and a member of Columbia's Data Sciences Institute. She joined Columbia in fall 2011 after finishing her Ph.D. at the University of Washington.  For her work in cloud and mobile data privacy, she received an Alfred P. Sloan Faculty Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, a ``Brilliant 10'' Popular Science nomination, an Early Career Award in Cybersecurity from the University of Washington Center for Academic Excellence, the Honorable Mention for the 2013 inaugural Dennis M. Ritchie Doctoral Dissertation Award, a William Chan Dissertation Award, two best paper awards at top systems conferences, and the first Google Ph.D. Fellowship in Cloud Computing.


  • Associate professor of computer science, Columbia University, 2016-present.
  • Assistant professor of computer science, Columbia University, 2011-2016.


  • Alfred P. Sloan Faculty Fellowship, 2016. 
  • Early Career Award in Cybersecurity from the University of Washington Center of Academic Excellence, 2015. 
  • Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, 2014. Popular Science “Brilliant 10,” 2014. NSF CAREER Award, 2014. 
  • Elected member of DARPA’s Information Science and Technology (ISAT) study group, a select group of cross-discipline experts that provides advice to DARPA on long-range research directions in information sciences and technology, 2014-2017. 
  • Google Research Award, 2013. 
  • Honorable mention for the inaugural SIGOPS Dennis M. Ritchie Dissertation Award, 2013. 
  • The William Chan Memorial Dissertation Award, 2011. 
  • Best Student Paper award at the European Conference on Computer Systems, 2011. 
  • Best Student Paper award at the 18th USENIX Security Symposium, 2009. 
  • Google Ph.D. Fellowship in Cloud Computing, 2009 – 2011. 


  • Principal Investigator for Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, “Privacy in a Data-Driven World,” $55,000, 2016-2018. 
  • Principal Investigator for NSF SaTC, “Scalable Web Transparency: New Scientific Building Blocks, Tools, and Measurements to Tame the Data-Driven Web,” $1,588,998, 2015-2019. Co-PI: Augustin Chaintreau. 
  • Principal Investigator for Microsoft Faculty Fellowship, $200,000, 2014. Principal Investigator for Microsoft Research gift, $15,000, 2014. 
  • Principal Investigator for NSF CAREER award, “New Operating Systems Abstractions for Responsible Data Management,” $499,999, 2014-2019. 
  • Principal Investigator for Google Faculty Fellowship, “Promiscuous: Scalable, Consistent Firehose for Data-Driven Web Service Integrations,” $79,807, 2013-2014. Co-PI: Jason Nieh. 
  • Principal Investigator for Columbia Provost’s Grant for Junior Faculty Who Contribute to the Diversity Goals of the University, “CleanOS: Limiting Sensitive Data Exposure in Mobile Operating Systems,” $25,000, 2013-2014. 
  • Principal Investigator for DARPA Contract No. FA8650-11-C-7190, “MEERKATS: Main- taining EnterprisE Resiliency via Kaleidoscopic Adaptation & Transformation of Software Services,” $6,619,270, 2011-2015. Co-PIs: Angelos Keromytis (was original PI), Salvatore Stolfo, Simha Sethumadhavan, Junfeng Yang, Matthew Elder, and Angelos Stavrou. 


  • Mathias Lecuy`er, Riley Spahn, Roxana Geambasu, Tzu-Kuo Huang, and Siddhartha Sen. Pyramid: Enhancing Selectivity in Big Data Protection with Count Featurization. In Proceedings of the IEEE Security and Privacy Symposium (IEEE S&P), San Jose, CA, May 2017. 
  • Florian Tram`er, Vaggelis Atlidakis, Roxana Geambasu, Daniel Hsu, Jean-Pierre Hubaux, Mathias Humbert, Ari Juels, Huang Lin. FairTest: Discovering Unwarranted Associations in Data-Driven Applications. In Proceedings of the IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P), Saarbru ̈cken, Germany, March 2017. 
  • Mathias Lecuyer, Riley B. Spahn, Giannis Spiliopoulos, Augustin Chaintreau, Roxana Geambasu, and Daniel Hsu. ”Sunlight: Fine-grained Targeting Detection at Scale with Statistical Confidence.” In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Commu- nications Security (CCS), Denver, Colorado, October 2015. 
  • Riley Spahn, Jonathan Bell, Sravan Bhamidipati, Michael Lee, Roxana Geambasu, and Gail Kaiser. “Pebbles: Fine-Grained Data Management Abstractions for Modern Operat- ing Systems.” In Proceedings of USENIX Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), Broomfield, CO, October 2014. 
  • Mathias L ́ecuyer, Guillaume Ducoffe, Francis Lan, Andrei Papancea, Theofilos Pet- sios, Riley Spahn, Augustin Chaintreau, and Roxana Geambasu. “XRay: Increasing the Web’s Transparency with Differential Correlation.” In Proceedings of the USENIX Security Symposium, San Diego, CA, August 2014. 
  • Yang Tang, Phillip Ames, Sravan Bhamidipati, Ashish Bijlani, Roxana Geambasu, and Nikhil Sarda. “CleanOS: Limiting Mobile Data Exposure with Idle Eviction.” In Proceedings of the 10th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), Hollywood, CA, October 2012. 
  • Roxana Geambasu, John P. John, Tadayoshi Kohno, Steven D. Gribble, and Henry M. Levy. “Keypad: An Auditing File System for Theft-prone Devices.” In Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Systems (EuroSys), Salzburg, Austria, April 2011. Award paper.
  • Roxana Geambasu, Amit Levy, Tadayoshi Kohno, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Henry M. Levy. “Comet: An Active Distributed Key/Value Store.” In Proceedings of the 9th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), Vancouver, Canada, October 2010. 
  • Roxana Geambasu, Tadayoshi Kohno, Amit Levy, and Henry M. Levy. “Increasing Data Privacy with Self-destructing Data.” In Proceedings of the 18th USENIX Security Symposium, Montreal, Canada, August 2009. Award paper.
  • Roxana Geambasu, Magdalena Balazinska, Steven D. Gribble, Henry M. Levy. “Home- Views: Peer-to-peer Middleware for Personal Data Sharing Applications.” In Proceedings of the 26th ACM International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), Beijing, China, June 2007.