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Q&A with Roberto
Tell us a little about your background: educational, professional, personal, etc.
I am originally from Italy. Franco Preparata was my doctoral advisor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After completing my PhD in 1988, I joined Brown, where I am currently the Plastech Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Center for Geometric Computing, and Executive Director of the Executive Master in Cybersecurity. I previously served as the Chair of the Department of Computer Science.
What do you focus on in your research? Any recent advances?
My primary research area is information security and privacy. I am also interested in design and analysis of algorithms, graph drawing, geometric computing, data management, and information visualization. Recent work includes methods and a system prototype for checking the integrity of outsourced data.
What do you like teaching classes about?
I like teaching classes that cover both theory and practical implementations. I have developed a new course on computer systems security that can be taken by students as early as the second year.
How did you become interested in computer science?
As an undergraduate at the University of Rome, I was an electrical engineering concentrator. What got me interested in computer science was a course on programming and data structures taught by Carlo Batini, who eventually became my first academic mentor.
What is your favorite thing about Brown?
The synergism between excellence in research and in teaching.
Any hobbies or passions?
I am interested in classical music and finance. I like ocean kayaking and cross-country skiing.