What brought you to the USA?
I am naturally curious and can never get enough knowledge and therefore graduate school was the natural choice. I also like to experience new cultures, which is why I chose to go to school in a foreign country. It was in the United States that I found the best conditions, both academic and monetary. With full support, coming to the US was an easy decision. Having been here for 3 years, I am confident I made the right choice.
In what are you currently working on?
My graduate work has been focused mostly in information security. Right now I am working on access control for wireless sensor networks and also user centric identity management. On the user centric identity management I initially started working on selective disclosure of identity attributes, which made up my Masters thesis. Right now I am working towards applying what Ive done to the social networking context, namely in building better mechanisms to allow sharing profile information between different social networking websites, under the control of the user as opposed to server controlled interactions. This is being done using an extension on the Opensocial project, originally designed as an open framework for social application development. Wireless sensor networks deal with networks of low powered and very limited devices that gather data. These sensors can sense anything from temperature to image and sound. Sensors can be deployed in a variety of environments and collect a lot of data. In my particular project we are trying to develop a fine grained and expressive access control mechanism on the network, this means who can access what features and read what information and specify the context in which transactions may happen. The environment is very limited because the devices are not only very limited in power availability, but also in processing capabilities. The challenge lies in simplifying the process while still maintaining the control. Right now we have a solution based on Elliptic Curve Cryptography and using a policy definition and evaluation mechanism defined by us.
What conditions do you have here that you do not have in Portugal?
To be completely honest, I was never a researcher in Portugal so I am not qualified nor have the legitimacy to comment on the research conditions that I would have available there. What I can say is that I could not find a program that would allow me to study full time and provide me with a stipend. That was what I found in the United States: the possibility to pursue a Masters degree with complete freedom, both monetary and academic. As for the conditions I currently have, I cannot envision a better environment, except being located in a larger city with access to more experts in my areas of knowledge. Also, New Mexico is currently the home to 3 of the 20 most powerful supercomputers in the world. This includes the systems at two national labs and the New Mexico Computing Applications Center, with which my school is directly involved. Proximity to Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs give students at my school the opportunity to be acquainted with cutting edge technology.
What are your future plans?
I do not usually make long term plans. As of now I plan to complete my PhD and then find an academic position, as I love both teaching and exploring new knowledge.
Why did you join PAPS?
Interestingly enough, I first heard of PAPS on the Portuguese TV news. I was sitting on my couch back home in Portugal when I was on vacation, in late May 2008, right after the finals ended in the US. I saw the story about the PAPS forum in Boston. I wanted to be a part of it right away and joined the web site. I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet other Portuguese students and researchers and, after the Los Angeles forum, I am sure I was right.
|Favourite source of news from Portugal:||My father and friends|
|Daily life (weekdays):||I am almost always at a computer and this can be at my office, the classroom, the library or at a coffee shop. I am fortunate enough to study in a field where many times the lab can go with the scientist.|
|Daily life (weekends):||Mostly hanging out with my friends, a computer not too far.|
|Other interests:||Playing guitar, hiking, eating, travelling.|