Gilles Barthe is a founding director of MPI-SP. His research interests lie in the areas of programming languages, program verification, software and system security, cryptography, formal methods and logic. His goal is to develop foundations and tools for reasoning about security and privacy properties of algorithms and implementations. His recent work focuses on building relational verification methods for probabilistic programs and on their applications in cryptography and privacy. He is interested in provably secure countermeasures against side-channel attacks. He received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Manchester, UK, in 1993, and a Habilitation in Computer Science from the University of Nice, France, in 2004.
Asia J. Biega is a tenure-track faculty member at MPI-SP leading the Responsible Computing group. Her research centers around developing, examining and computationally operationalizing principles of responsible computing, data ethics, and data protection. Before joining MPI-SP, Asia was a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research Montréal in the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics in AI (FATE) Group. She completed her PhD in Computer Science at the MPI for Informatics and the MPI for Software Systems, winning the DBIS Dissertation Award of the German Informatics Society. In her work, Asia engages in interdisciplinary collaborations while drawing from her traditional CS education and her industry experience, including at Microsoft and Google.
Marcel Böhme is a tenure-track faculty at MPI-SP and head of the Software Security research group. Previously, he was a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in Australia and a PostDoc at the TSUNAMi Security Research Centre in Singapore and the CISPA-Helmholtz Zentrum in Germany. Marcel received his PhD from the National University of Singapore. His current research interest is the automatic discovery of software bugs and security flaws at the very large scale. One part of his group develops the foundations of automatic software testing (an approach to finding bugs by auto-generating executions) to elucidate fundamental limitations of existing techniques, and to explore the assurances that software testing provides when no bugs are found. The other part of his group develops practical vulnerability discovery tools that are publicly available and widely used in software security practice.
Meeyoung Cha is a scientific director of MPI-SP in Bochum, Germany, and holds joint positions at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) in South Korea. Her interests include data science and computational social science, with a focus on understanding social information and human-machine interactions. Meeyoung’s research on misinformation, poverty mapping, fraud detection, and long-tail content has received wide citations and best paper awards. She is the recipient of the Korean Young Information Scientist Award 2019, the AAAI ICWSM Test-of-Time! Award 2020, and the ACM IMC Test-of-Time Award 2022. Prior to joining MPI, Meeyoung was a chief investigator at IBS (2019-current), a faculty member at KAIST (2010-current), a visiting professor at Facebook (2015-2016), and a postdoctoral researcher at MPI-SWS (2008-2010). She received her Ph.D. in computer science from KAIST in 2008.
Cătălin Hrițcu is a tenured faculty at MPI-SP and head of the Formally Verified Security group. He is interested in formal methods for security (secure compilation, compartmentalization, memory safety, security protocols, information flow), programming languages (program verification, proof assistants, dependent types, formal semantics, mechanized metatheory, property-based testing), and the design and verification of security-critical systems (reference monitors, secure compilation chains, tagged architectures). He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on formally secure compilation, and is also actively involved in the design of the F* verification system. He received a PhD from Saarland University, a Habilitation from ENS Paris, and was previously Tenured Researcher at Inria Paris, Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Pennsylvania, and Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Redmond.
Giulio Malavolta is a faculty member at MPI-SP (part time). He is broadly interested in the theory of cryptography and its connections with quantum computation, concurrent systems, cryptocurrencies, and game theory. His recent work focuses on constructing cryptographic schemes with advanced functionalities and finding new applications to real-life systems.
Giulio was previously a postdoc with a joint appointment at UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon University. In fall 2019, he was a research fellow at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. He completed his Ph.D. in 2019 at Friedrich-Alexander University.
Christof Paar is a founding director at MPI-SP in Bochum, Germany and affiliated professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research lies in the area of embedded security. His group is currently working on hardware Trojans, technical and cognitive aspects of (hardware) reverse engineering, physical layer security and the security of cyber-physical systems. He is one of the spokespersons of the Excellence Cluster CASA - Cyber Security in the Age of Large-Scale Adversaries.
Prior to joining the MPI, Christof was with the Ruhr University Bochum (2001-2019) and WPI in Massachusetts (1995-2001). He spent the academic years 2008/09 and 2014 - 2016 as a research professor at UMass Amherst. He received a Ph.D. in engineering from the Institute for Experimental Mathematics at the University of Essen in 1994.
Peter Schwabe is tenured faculty at MPI-SP and also a professor at the Institute for Computing and Information Sciences at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research is in the area of cryptography, specifically the design and secure implementation of cryptographic primitives. In recent years he is mainly working on post-quantum cryptography, i.e., cryptographic primitives that run on standard hardware, but remain secure even against attackers equipped with a large universal quantum computer. He was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for this work on engineering post-quantum cryptography. Peter is interested in high-assurance cryptography, an area that brings together techniques and tools from formal methods and research into cryptographic software to improve the quality of cryptographic systems we use every day to protect our digital assets.
Yixin Zou is a tenure-track faculty member at MPI-SP leading the Human-Centered Security and Privacy group. Her research spans human-computer interaction, privacy, and security, focusing on improving consumers’ adoption of protective behaviors and supporting the digital safety of at-risk populations. Her research has been recognized with the 2022 John Karat Usable Privacy and Security Student Research Award and best paper awards/honorable mentions at ACM CHI and SOUPS. In addition, her research has generated broader impacts on industry practice (e.g., Mozilla and NortonLifeLock) and public policy, including the rulemaking process for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Yixin received a Ph.D. in Information from the University of Michigan.
Research Group Leaders
Abraham Mhaidli is a Research Group Leader at MPI-SP. His research interrogates the harms of current and emerging technologies, asking: (1) what are the ethical, consumer, and societal harms of technologies; (2) how can they be designed so as to not cause harm; and (3) what are techniques we can use to better understand the technologies and harms that are to come. Abraham's work has been recognized by best paper awards and honorable mention at CHI, PETS, and SOUPS.
Abraham completed his PhD in Information at the University of Michigan in 2023.