This Q&A highlight features Ellie Young, an Honorable Mention in the 2022 CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers award program. Ellie graduated from New College of Florida and is now a Societal Computing Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Congratulations on your Honorable Mention! How did you first join the project you were recognized for?
As a computer science student, I was staring down the possibility of spending life after graduation making widgets for a huge corporate machine, unintentionally complicit in societal harm. I felt an obligation to do work with as little potential to hurt people as possible. Having really enjoyed a class in usable privacy and security and an initial research experience at my home institution, I applied to research programs, mainly in privacy/security and human-computer interaction. I also applied to the Research Experience for Undergraduates in Software Engineering (REUSE) at Carnegie Mellon University after a classmate recommended it. REUSE offered me a position working in the exact sub-area of usable privacy and security I was most excited about!