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Research across cultures, as well as disciplines

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Publié le jeudi 14 novembre 2019

Marharyta Aleksandrva is a postdoc at SnT. Hailing from Ukraine, she earned her PhD in Computer Science as part of a French-Ukrainian dual doctoral supervision program – often called a cotutelle here in Luxembourg. 

At SnT, Marharyta Aleksandrova researched internet security.

What drew you to SnT?

This year is a remarkable year for me first of all because I finished my PhD, I got my degree. After that, I wanted to continue my research experience in a different place, preferably in a different country, maybe in a different domain. Luckily I was interviewed by the SnT Team and was selected. And that’s how it happened.

Can you describe SnT in one minute or less?

Luxembourg is sort of a hub between Latin and Germanic Europe, so it provides a lot of different possibilities. And in a similar manner, SnT is a hub between disciplines. It offers a lot of possibilities for research. Here you can work on purely academic research problems, or you can work with an industry partner. You can work within the framework of various European projects, and you can collaborate with colleagues from many different countries.  But what distinguishes SnT from any other places is the guidance we receive from University and SnT staff to help us navigate these layered frameworks and approaches.

Tell us about your first research projects here at SnT.

In fact, right from the beginning, I had two Europeans projects that each involved at least ten international partners. We were working on the security and anonymity of internet communication. This was a new domain for me with a lot of new challenges, but also it brought a lot of new experiences and opportunities for me to grow. The main research question within this project was how to allow people to stay anonymous when communicating online.  Some systems do offer that possibility, but our research shows that those systems are not as effective as previously believed. We identified those vulnerabilities and proposed some solutions to overcome those problems. 

What is special about working here?

For me, the important thing about working here is the diversity of the people. This isn’t my first experience abroad, and in my previous place there were a lot of foreigners, but it just didn’t come close to the diversity here in Luxembourg. I don’t think you could find this much diversity anywhere else. It allows you to get very different perspectives on your research as well as just life in general.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I hope to be to become the leader of my own computer science research group, maybe focusing on data analysis. I hope to incorporate also the experience that I obtained here. I am actually working on defining those research questions that I would like me and my team to work on.

SnT is turning 10! We’ve come a long way since launching our activities in 2009. Stay tuned for a year full of celebrations, cutting-edge research, and new milestones.