Computer Science News

UCL’s Shehar Bano Named To MIT Technology Review’s 2018 Innovators Under 35 List

We are delighted to announce that UCL’s Shehar Bano has been named to MIT Technology Review’s prestigious annual list of Innovators Under 35 as a Visionary. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world.

Shehar Bano, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the The Information Security Research Group of Department of Computer Science, says she is honoured and excited to be named to the prestigious Innovators Under 35 list. The magazine recognized Bano in the Visionary category of its innovators list for her work on illuminating how state censorship works so people can get around it. She says that her interest in Internet censorship began when her home country Pakistan blocked YouTube in 2012: “I was particularly interested in the issue of transparency — once a country builds its censorship hammer, how can we be sure it’s not hitting more nails than it’s supposed to? I was also interested in understanding how such systems operate at the scale of an entire country, what’s the accuracy vs performance tradeoff etc. So I answered some of these questions during my PhD at University of Cambridge, by studying three years of ISP network data from Pakistan, and by probing China’s Great Firewall to understand how it actually works. Later I became interested in other forms of information control, such as how websites treat users of anonymity networks like Tor and ad-blockers differently than ‘normal’ users by outright rejection or degraded experiences.”

At UCL since 2017, Bano is exploring how the issue of information control can be addressed at its roots by replacing centralised systems with decentralised alternatives such as blockchains that are transparent by design. In this context, she co-founded Chainspace, a scalable smart contracts, blockchain platform. She works with George Danezis and Sarah Meiklejohn on the EU DECODE and EPSRC Glass Houses projects.  She says: “The key theme of my research work is to use transparency as a tool to re-democratise the Internet via measurements to expose information control, and by developing decentralised systems to push control over information back to users.” You can read Bano’s full biography on her personal page here.

Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review inherently focuses on technology first - the breakthroughs and their potential to disrupt our lives. Our annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind those technologies. We hope these profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees on the MIT Technology Review website here and in the July/August print magazine, which will hit newsstands worldwide on July 3. The honorees are also invited to appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference, MIT Technology Review’s flagship event exploring future trends and technologies that will impact the global economy, happening September 11-14, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Please join us in congratulating Bano on this fantastic achievement!


About MIT Technology Review

Founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1899, MIT Technology Review is a world-renowned, independent media company whose insight, analysis, reviews, interviews and live events explain the commercial, social and political impact of new technologies. MIT Technology Review derives its authority from the world's foremost technology institution and from its editors' deep technical knowledge, capacity to see technologies in their broadest context, and unequaled access to leading innovators and researchers. MIT Technology Review’s mission is to bring about better-informed and more conscious decisions about technology through authoritative, influential and trustworthy journalism. Subscribe. Follow: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram.


Media Contact:

Meredith Chiricosta

BIGfish Communications for MIT Technology Review


Posted 26 Jun 18 10:23
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