In December 2021 the Michigan Daily published an article about me during my time at the University of Michigan alleging some concerns from students outside my research group. Below you will find my response to this article.
I am a deeply committed academic in the area of cybersecurity and driven to conduct meaningful, accurate research. I strive to instill those same values in the students with whom I have the privilege to work. In December 2019, I became aware that students outside my research group, and with whom I never published, raised concerns about my passionate advising style and occasional use of colorful language.
The reported allegations were investigated by Michigan’s CSE and found to be inaccurate or exaggerated. As a result, no disciplinary actions were taken. I am surprised by the data falsification allegations, which I vigorously deny. The Lightcommands (laser) paper has been peer-reviewed at Usenix Security 2020, as well as independently replicated.
Nonetheless, I recognize the important feedback I was given. I subsequently worked with Michigan’s CSE leadership to address concerns, including attending an advising workshop for new faculty, and endeavoring to become more attuned to successful group dynamics. However, it’s my responsibility to learn from my mistakes and do more, as I embark of the journey of self-improvement for the sake of the students with whom I am privileged to work with. Finally, I acknowledge that some students and colleagues received my words and actions differently than I intended. For that, I am truly sorry and pledge to do better.
As professors, growing and nurturing students is among the biggest reasons we do the work that we do. I am committed to ensuring student success, and look forward to continuing doing so at Georgia Tech.