I am a Ph.D. student in USC's Department of Computer Science as of Fall of 2015. I am fortunate to be advised by Aleksandra Korolova in the CS Theory Group.

My research currently explores differential privacy as well as its connections to machine learning, economics, and algorithmic game theory. In general, I'm interested in ideal strategic behavior, actual behavior, and the gap between the two.

Prior to USC, I completed my undergraduate studies at Virginia Tech in 2015, where I earned my B.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Mathematics, B.A. in Economics, and B.S. in Statistics.
At VT, I was an undergrad research assistant under T. M. Murali, where I explored hypergraph algorithms and their applications to biological networks. Here, I was the primary designer and implementer of halp, the hypergraph algorithms package.


Publications

BLENDER: Enabling Local Search with a Hybrid Differential Privacy Model
Brendan Avent, Aleksandra Korolova, David Zeber, Torgeir Hovden, Benjamin Livshits
26th USENIX Security Symposium. 2017. [arxiv]

Pathway Analysis with Signaling Hypergraphs
Anna Ritz, Brendan Avent, T. M. Murali
ACM/IEEE Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. 2015. [link]


Presentations

Hypergraphs: Algorithms, Implementations, and Applications
Brendan Avent, Anna Ritz, T. M. Murali
VTURCS Research Symposium. Poster. 2015 [pdf]

Machine Learning Models for Terrestrial Space Weather Forecasting
Brendan Avent, Nicholas Sharp, Dhruv Batra
SIAM Annual Meeting. Undergrad Presentation. 2014


Teaching

In the Spring of 2016, I TA-ed USC's CS 599: Privacy in the World of Big Data with Aleksandra Korolova.

In the Spring of 2015, I TA-ed VT's Stat 4106: Theoretical Statistics II with Bill Woodall and also CS/Stat 4654: Intermediate Data Analytics & Machine Learning with Byron Smith.

In the Spring of 2014, I TA-ed VT's CS 4104: Data and Algorithm Analysis with T. M. Murali.

In the Fall of 2013, I TA-ed VT's CS 4104: Data and Algorithm Analysis with Lenwood Heath.