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: cybersecurity with a slant towards human factors and HCI. More specifically, I'm examining the idea of a "trusted channel" between customers and ISPs with an eye towards improving malware remediation. Other interests include 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

Net neutrality astroturfing

Ongoing side project. I'm examining data from the FCC's comment filing system to learn more about fake comment filing practices on both sides of the net neutrality debate.

Boston transit data

I always find data sets on public transit interesting to play with. For example, I visualized incidents on Boston's Red Line in 2016.

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.

Leak Detector

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

CMU campus

Thistle yearbook

I was editor-in-chief [2015-16] (and did some photography and design, 2014-16) for the Carnegie Mellon yearbook.

Other projects

Notable coursework and related projects: science communication, Python work, app prototyping, and more.