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Cranor Receives Honorary Doctorate From Swiss University


Faculty member Lorrie Cranor recently received an honorary doctorate from the Università della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland.

Lorrie Cranor recently received an honorary doctorate from the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), a public Swiss university near the country's southern border with Italy.

The university awarded Cranor the honorary degree during a ceremony on Saturday, May 7, for her relentless pursuit of making privacy and security usable, including her pioneering work on privacy policies, her fundamental contributions toward understanding phishing attacks, and her active role in shaping public policy to better protect our privacy.

"IT security is one of society's most pressing problems, as demonstrated by the many incidents of ransomware we have seen in the past year, also here in Switzerland," said Marc Langheinrich, dean and professor in USI's Faculty of Informatics. "For more than 25 years, Cranor's work has been about creating solutions for online security and privacy that are usable."

Cranor, a professor in the Institute for Software Research and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and director of CyLab, created the first research forum for work on usable privacy and security, known as the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS), in 2005. She has authored more than 200 publications on the subject.

"As usual, there is no way a short laudation like this can properly reflect the many achievements of a nominee," Langheinrich said during the ceremony. "Let me try to sum it up as follows: Lorrie is a role model for all of us on how to do research that not only crosses interdisciplinary boundaries but that also has an impact — academically, within industry and in society — by educating not only students, but also citizens and policymakers."

USI was established in 1996 and it is one of 12 certified public universities in Switzerland. It is active in several study and research areas including architecture, communication sciences, computational science, data science, economics, health studies, humanities, informatics, law, medicine and biomedicine. Over 3,000 students and 1,000 faculty and researchers from 99 countries convene on its four different campuses.