Thesis student Ellie Young
Thesis student Ellie Young

The Computing Research Association (CRA) has recognized New College computer science thesis student Ellie Young with an honorable mention in its 2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards competition.

Nominated by New College Associate Professor of Computer Science Matthew Lepinski, Ph.D., Young earned the award for her research into the design of online mechanisms for protecting user privacy.

“My work encompasses multiple projects assessing the usability of existing privacy choice mechanisms and comparing design choices to determine best practices for privacy and consent,” Young said. “It’s all about empowering ordinary people to take control of their privacy online.”

Young conducted the research throughout the past 1½ years in the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where she participated in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Software Engineering (REUSE) program.

Mentored by CMU Professor Lorrie Cranor, Young focused her work on Facebook’s advertising practices, manipulative design tactics in “this website uses cookies” popups, and privacy disclosures for new online healthcare tools.

The CRA award program recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding potential in an area of computing research.

After she graduates from New College in May, Young plans to pursue a Ph.D. in usable privacy and security, and to continue as an industry researcher in the field.

For more information on the computer science program at New College, visit

Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is a top-ranked public liberal arts college and the state’s Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in arts, humanities and sciences, a master’s degree program in applied data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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