Usable Security Expert Joins SCU Math/Comp Sci Dept.
Houshmand intrigued by “direct human side” of computing
By Riley O’Connell ‘19
With a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Computer Science, Professor Shiva Houshmand is one of the newest professors in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Santa Clara University.
“I love that [computer science] is changing every day and improving so rapidly,” Houshmand says, noting her excitement to be able to observe these changes up close by living and working in the Silicon Valley.
Houshmand’s research interests lie in authentication, password security, and usable security, disciplines which she looks forward to exploring further with her SCU students, as their different perspectives “bring you back to the surface.” She adds, “What’s interesting and important for me [about computer science] is that a lot of times when you develop or design something you have to consider the users, and so it has a direct human side to it.”
A graduate of the University of Tehran and Florida State University, Houshmand credits her international education for her ability to work with people of different backgrounds, which she looks forward to in interacting with students. Most of all, she hopes to be able to “improve the students’ quality and experience of life.” By giving them the skills and opportunities to work with Silicon Valley companies and sharing her own tech experience, Houshmad aims to help students see themselves in the tech industry, saying, “Students are more motivated when there’s a lot of opportunities for them.”
Houshmand teaches Computer Security (CSCI 180), Theory of Algorithms (CSCI 163A / COEN 179), and Computational Complexity (CSCI 162).