Biography

I am an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I received my B.Sc. (2007), M.Sc. (2009), and Ph.D. (2014) degrees in Computer Science from the University of Crete (Greece) while working as a research assistant in the Distributed Computing Systems Lab at FORTH.

Prior to joining UIC, I was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Computer Science Department at Columbia University, and a member of the Network Security Lab. More information is available in my resume.

I’m looking for excited and motivated students to work with. Information for PhD applications at UIC can be found here.

Research

My research interests span several areas of security and privacy. In the past few years I have focused on understanding the security limitations of online social networks and web services, exploring the privacy threats that users face, and designing robust countermeasures. I’m also actively exploring the shortcomings of authentication and authorization mechanisms, and the robustness of bot-prevention systems. Ultimately my research focuses on understanding the Web’s threat landscape and developing countermeasures and privacy-preserving techniques for better protecting users.

Teaching

CS 194: Intro to CyberSecurity : Fall 2019
CS 494: Network Security : Spring 2019, Spring 2020
ENGR 194: Intro to CyberSecurity : Fall 2017, Fall 2018
CS 377: Communication and Ethical Issues in Computing : Spring 2017
CS 594: Security and Privacy in the Age of the Social Web : Fall 2016, Spring 2018

Recent Service

  • Program Committee member:
    • ACM CCS 2020
    • USENIX Security 2020
    • WWW 2020 (Security and Privacy track)
    • MADWeb 2020
    • RAID 2019

Contact

Email: polakis@uic.edu
Phone: (312) 413-2442 (email is preferred)
Office: SEO 1239

Mailing address: 851 S. Morgan St. MC 152
Chicago, IL 60607-7053, USA