Name: Josephine Wolff
Hometown: Cambridge, MA
Current location: Rochester, NY
What were you involved with at Princeton?
I was maybe a little bit (too) involved with The Daily Princetonian; I'm pretty sure I signed up for other things at the freshman activities fair but the Prince slowly subsumed them all. I was also an undergrad fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy and worked for the Office of Information Technology.
What's your favorite memory of Princeton?
I have very vivid memories of the first snowstorm freshman year when it was so cold and miserable out that my roommate and I both ended up pretty much unwilling to leave our waffle-ceilinged dorm room in the old Butler quad for an entire day. Even though neither of us really liked the other (it's perplexing, I know-- who wouldn't want a roommate who spent most of her waking hours agonizing over the intricacies of real analysis theorems?), since we shared about 180-square feet of space there was no way to avoid each other that day and we had an hours-long conversation about all sorts of random and highly inappropriate topics. We ended up living together through the end of college.
What have you been up to in the five years (!) since graduation? What are you currently doing? What has your path been like since college? What's next?
I pretty much dealt with graduating by never, ever leaving school. I finished my PhD at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Labs last spring, and this fall I started a position as an assistant professor in public policy and computing security at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I also do some cybersecurity journalism for Slate, The Atlantic, and a few other publications. Basically, I've kept doing many of the things I enjoyed most at Princeton (research, classes, journalism, agonizing about real analysis) so, if I had to guess, the future probably holds more of the same...
What about your life now would your sophomore-year self be most surprised by?
Either the fact that part of my job involves teaching and advising students or the fact that I love that part of my job.
What's a lesson/belief/idea/skill you've learned since graduating?
I've learned a lot about how to buy and sell stolen information on the black market. And maybe a dozen or so different techniques for gaining access to someone else's email.
Anything else you want the class to know?
I don't actually read other people's email. Or buy and sell stolen information. And when I do, it's always in the name of research and the greater good.