For work, I look for security vulnerabilites and think about business risk. My nights involve thinking hard about the structure of our society, teaching friends how to code / find jobs, and playing games that are engaging and teach well. I thrive on human interaction and collaboration; “learning together” is my favorite hobby.
I’m fascinated by systems, especially when they very directly involve humans. I care a lot about keeping vulnerable populations safe.
I studied Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). While, there I worked with the Network Security Research Group under Michael Bailey as an undergraduate researcher. I was also the head of SIGPwny, UIUC’s undergraduate security club, and the head of DDRIllini, a rhythm game club. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the clubs approachable and friendly; they saw considerable growth during my time there.
I grew up in Chicago to a Polish-American family, which inspired an early interest in languages and international affairs. My father is a local business owner and village trustee, so being involved in local communities has always been an important part of my life. My mother emigrated from Poland for economic reasons, works in the medical industry, and may be the most hospitable person I know.
I used to maintain an ITG cabinet and play a lot of dance games (DDR / ITG, though I’m not too picky). I led the planning of a 130+ attendee, internationally-attended tournament for two years and trained my replacements. Nowadays I play a lot of Sound Voltex.
I’ve had a lot of professional/life interests over the years, but they’ve changed a lot over time.
Recent interests that I regularly talk to friends who work in these fields:
- bio and biotech (cognition, brain sims)
- the role of tech companies in our society (social network responsibility)
- AI/ML and blockchain (they’re meme-y fields but there are things to learn)
- browser exploitation and especially wasm
- threat modeling
- writing (communicating effectively)
- business (thinking in terms of value)
- consulting (the sum of the above two)
Some older interests that I have considered going into for my career and have done at least 50 hours of research in:
- information security and user privacy (whether my own or for entire systems)
- automated exploit generation (fuzzing, symbolic execution)
- civic tech, policy, and voting machines
- networks (routers and firewalls, reversing them)
- social network design (from cryptography primitives and from the perspective of abuse)
- virtual reality (broadly, video games as storytelling tools)
I generally try to keep a levelheaded approach to reasoning about new technologies, but sometimes I worry too much.
If you’ve read this far and any of those about topics caught your interest, you should drop me a line! My email is first initial last name AT gmail and you can find me on most services as ian5v or ianklatzco.
The first and only time I’ve ever seen Ian angry was when someone mentioned SystemVerilog.
Gifts I would be beyond delighted to receive:
- a beautifully-bound copy of one of my favorite books.
- custom leatherwork and high-quality printed paper would be a delight.
- Snow Crash is probably my favorite candidate.