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Spotlight on: Dr Aastha Madaan

In our monthly feature, we are shining a spotlight on members of the PETRAS community, to help us get to know the people that make up our diverse research hub. This month into the spotlight steps Aastha Madaan, Research Associate at the University of Southampton. If you would like to be featured in a future edition please contact Sarah Hardy in the Impact team at s.hardy.2@warwick.ac.uk .

What is your role and what does it involve?
I am a PDRA in PETRAS at the University of Southampton, working on the HEALTH-I project (Hybrid Engagement Architecture Layer for Trusted Human-centric IoT). It involves the use of crowdsourcing platform Zooniverse and interacting with the CityVerve Manchester (smart-city demonstrator) to understand the possible use cases our project can help or use. We are researching on existing frameworks of privacy and trust management in IoT and how they can be extended or reworked by integrating humans as active participants.

Aastha works on the project – HEALTH-I: Hybrid Engagement Architecture Layer for Trusted Human-Centric IoT

How long have you been with PETRAS and what was your previous role?
I’ve been part of the PETRAS community since September 2016. Previously I worked on the conceptual framework of the IoT Observatory project and the key technical/systemic features which need to be implemented to make it a transparent, and accountable data sharing ecosystem for a variety of stakeholders.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I am working on the HEALTH-I project (Hybrid Engagement Architecture Layer for Trusted Human-centric IoT) where along with my team-member Dr. Mu Yang we are attempting to integrate humans in the IoT ecosystem. We are using crowdsourcing to openly and transparently improve the trust of devices, data sources, and privacy issues related to data sharing within an IoT system. At the moment, we are aiming to do a user-study to understand the user’s perception of privacy and usage of a mobile app explicitly capturing their personal data such as location.

What about the IoT attracted you to working in this area?
I come from a data management background, and IoT naturally presented an extension of big data systems to distributed network of both big and small data systems. These present complex research problems such as, scalable data management, real-time analysis and data integration which are augmented with the way IoT systems involve or interact with humans making privacy and security as prime concerns. These concerns need to be addressed from a socio-technical perspective.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?
I love to listen to EdSheeran, Adele and Coldplay. Reading is my favourite hobby and I read fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction. Some of my favourite novelists are William Darymple, Ishiguro Kazuo, Murakami, among others. I don’t have an all-time favourite movie but I enjoy thrillers, animation movies and Indian cinema.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?
The cast of Big Bang Theory, some years ago I really thought they are actual scientists!!!

What advice would you give your younger self?
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi

What would it surprise people to know about you?
I speak Japanese!