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 and 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 play a lot of DDR (ITG). I led the planning of a 130+ attendee, internationally-attended tournament for two years and trained my replacements. Nowadays I play a lot of piano.
Recent professional interests (i.e. I talk to friends who work in these fields):
- bio and biotech
- cognition, brain sim
- 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
- especially wasm
- threat modeling
- communicating effectively
- thinking in terms of value
- the sum of the above two
Some older interests that I have considered going into for my career and have done at least 500 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)
- optimal dance game tournament operation + software tooling
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.