Teodora Baluta

Security & Privacy | Formal Analysis of Machine Learning Systems


I am on the academic job market for positions starting 2024!

Invited Talks: CISPA, Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy, UC Santa Barbara, Northeastern, Purdue, Georgia Tech, University of Waterloo, Columbia, University of Sydney, Arizona State University.

[CV][Research Statement][Teaching Statement]

I am one of the EECS Rising Stars 2023.

I’m a Ph.D. candidate at National University of Singapore (NUS), advised by Prateek Saxena and Kuldeep S. Meel. I am a part of the KISP lab, as well as MeelGroup.

I work in computer security. My thesis is on Rigorous Security Analyses for Machine Learning (ML) Systems, consisting of the following foundational aspects:

  • Definitions: Stochastic gradient descent steps are collision resistant, under precise definitions and mild testable conditions [CCS 23]. This is useful in solving intellectual property disputes.

  • Abstractions: We propose a causal model for stochastic gradient descent to analyze the connection between generalization and tests for memorization [CCS 22a].

  • Sound procedures for statistical verifiability: black-box [ICSE 21] and white-box [CCS 19].

Broader Interests. I enjoy problems that are both algorithmic and practically relevant. I have also worked on differential privacy for graphs [CCS 21][CCS 22b], learnability of security analysis rules [NDSS 19], improving SAT solving using causality [SAT 23], and cross-language code translation [FSE 21][OOPSLA 23].

My research has been recognized and supported by the Google PhD Fellowship (2021-2023), EECS Rising Stars 2023, Dean’s Graduate Research Excellence Award (2022-2023, Sem.2), and the President’s Graduate Fellowship (2017-2021). I was selected as a finalist for the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship, Asia-Pacific (2021).

I was a Teaching Assistant @ NUS for several courses: Systems Security CS5231 Fall 2019, Systems Security CS5231 Fall 2018, and Intro to Security CS3235.


Jan 2, 2024 Upcoming talk at CISPA on 24 Jan 2024!
Dec 31, 2023 2023 Talks in review: CCS @ Copenhagen, UCLA, USC, UCSC, UCSB, University of Maryland, Columbia, Stony Brook, EPFL, ETH. It was great to meet faculty and students in all these places. Looking forward to 2024!
Nov 22, 2023 🎤 Final stop in the US: I gave a talk at UCLA, in the group seminar of Prof. Yuan Tian! Next: CCS 2023, Copenhagen.
Nov 21, 2023 🎤 I gave a talk at USC. It was a great opportunity to meet faculty and students!
Nov 20, 2023 🎤 I gave a talk at UC Santa Cruz! Had a wonderful time learning about some of the on-going security research at UCSC.