Nathaniel Fruchter

I'm currently a master's student at MIT in the Technology and Policy Program, class of 2018. My current work is at the intersection between policy and the internet. I'm focusing on cybersecurity with a slant towards human factors and HCI. I'm also interested in a variety of other things: scientific and technical communication (such as how to effectively relay complex concepts to users and policy makers), digital privacy, usability, and web measurement techniques.

Before MIT, I studied decision science and EPP at Carnegie Mellon. I also did human-computer interaction research there, including privacy, HCI fabrication, and user studies. In my spare time, I pursue photography, music, and way too many side projects.

Academic publications

Online tracking

Web measurement study about privacy regulation and geography. [Slides here]

Fruchter, N., Miao, H., Stevenson, S., and Balebako, R. Variations in Tracking in Relation to Geographic Location. In Proc. W2SP 2015.

Internet mental models

How do users' understanding of the internet affect privacy and security behavior?
[IAPP Award!]

Kang, R., Dabbish, L., Fruchter, N. and Kiesler, S. “My data just goes everywhere:” User mental models of the Internet and implications for privacy and security. In Proc. SOUPS 2015.

Mediated decision making

How do people make risky and dehumanizing decisions over telepresence?

Lee, M.K., Fruchter, N. and Dabbish, L. Making decisions from a distance: The impact of technological mediation on riskiness and dehumanization. In Proc. CSCW ’15.

Projects and code


I helped design, prototype, and implement a mobile, on-demand tutoring app for a semester long class project.

Leak Detector

Created for a research study. A utility that helps users understand what information could be exposed to others on an insecure network.

Music transcription

A Python final project for CMU's 15-112 class that transcribes heard audio into sheet music with decent accuracy.

PGH Next Bus

A mobile app for tracking Pittsburgh busses, plus a companion Python API. First to market in PGH, 10K+ installs in App Store and Play Store.

CMU student tools

I built a search function for Carnegie Mellon's course evaluations, a textbook list generator, and parser for our ancient 80-column text academic audit.


A simple weather app made with and Apache Cordova (Phonegap).