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INTERFACE

We meet weekly on Sundays at 2PM ET to discuss the impacts and ethics of computing. Topics range from privacy and surveillance issues to education, security to labor policies.

Membership ranges from undergrad and grad students to faculty and alumni. Come if you believe these conversations are important to have.

Interested in participating?

Coming Up


Sunday 11/29: Thanksgiving Break: No Meeting

Enjoy the break!


Interested in Presenting?

Past Topics


Sunday 11/22: Deus Vult! How the Alt-Right Co-Opted the Crusades

To history buffs, Crusader memes are harmless fun. On more insidious corners of the Internet, they inspire acts of violence. Come find out how a 1000-year-old ideology became a potent radicalization tool for white supremacists and far-right extremists.

Sandun Bambarandage '20


Sunday 11/15: AI-Generated Art

Is AI-generated art "real" art? What do technologies like deepfakes and NLP-generated text, images, and music spell for the future of art and entertainment?

Betsy Pu '22


Sunday 11/08: INTERFACE scribble

Unwind from a stressful elections week with some technology-and-society themed pictionary.


Sunday 11/01: Russian Digital Disinformation

Twitter bots emphatically denying they are bots. Troll factories that advertise open positions on Facebook. Election-related allegations against Hunter Biden.
Recently, Russian digital disinformation is in the news again. Russia is not exactly the tech capital of the world, so why is it so good at online propaganda? Can this propaganda be effective? If so, when? I will address these questions with some Russian history, results of my own research, and the collective wisdom of political science.

Sergey Sanovich (CITP)


Sunday 10/18: Movie Hang

Come watch the spicy new documentary The Social Dilemma with us for a post-midterms break!


Sunday 10/04: The TikTok - WeChat Ban and National Security

The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok and WeChat. Judges blocked it, but there's more to the headlines. Is the Chinese government seriously threatening US national security through these apps? Does selling TikTok to a US company actually make a difference? What does this mean for global technology platforms? Join us for a rundown of everything that happened in this story and a discussion of what's to come.

Hien Pham '23



Sunday 9/27: Googling: A Historian's Approach

Googling. That convenient thing we do when we want to know something, quick. But this tool that we use with ease has changed human thought and behavior. A historian-by-training, I present to you not only what has happened but try to answer how and why. We explore theories and philosophies of the machine and of the human.

Allison Huang '21


Tuesday 9/15, 8:30pm ET: Social uwu

Play games and get to know us!


Sunday 9/13: Kickoff / Open House :3

A warm welcome to INTERFACE, accompanied by a mini-presentation on surveillance tools by Sabrina Reguyal '22


Tuesday 8/25: Health data sharing in the US: what we know (or, what the government doesn't) ಠ_ಠ

Health data has long been recognized as one of the most sensitive -- and thus best-protected -- categories of personal data. Recently, it's also become clear that the health industry is a lucrative new arena for technology companies, all of whom stand to benefit from access to protected health data in order to improve their processing or to train their models. You might hope that federal and state governments have oversight mechanisms in place to understand how and how frequently health data is shared with private companies. Boy do I have a (research-project-based, FOIA-enabled) story for you!

Maia Hamin '20


Tuesday 8/11: The Digital Divide

What factors lead to the divide in broadband access in the US? What are the issues in measuring this divide and creating policies to correct it? Join our discussion with Oliver Hsu '20 and David Major '20 whose theses studied the rural/urban broadband divide and ISP misreporting of coverage.

A Conversation w/ David Major '20, Oliver Hsu '19


Tuesday 7/28: Regulation vs Electronification in Finance

Over the past few decades, financial markets have transitioned from being a bunch of humans shouting at each other in exciting places like Manhattan to being a bunch of computers quietly calculating trades in unexciting places like New Jersey. But, like so many laws, the laws which govern financial markets are rarely updated, and lag behind the technology used. I'll explore the challenges faced by engineers in finance as innovation comes up against laws which were not written with modern technology in mind.

Andrew Wonnacott '19, Old Mission Capital


Tuesday 7/14: A Quick Visit to the Wireless World with Software Defined Radio

From satellites and commercial airplanes to restaurant pagers and proxes- they all rely on the same means of communication: radio frequencies. We will use Software Defined Radios to decipher these signals and investigate how private and secure they can be. What can we say about the integrity of our own data permeating through wireless space and is it possible to thwart eavesdropping?

Vinicius Wagner '21


Tuesday 6/30: Drugs & the Internet: From Counterculture to Modern Computing

What did "turn on, tune in, drop out", the Grateful Dead, and hippie communes have to do with the digital revolution? How was the development of modern computing shaped by the counterculture of the "psychedelic 60s"? How do other manifestations of counterculture continue to shape the internet?

Ahmed Farah '22, Betsy Pu '22


Tuesday 6/16: When Weapons are Speech

What is the state of the art of 3D printed firearms, and what is at stake Constitutionally? How will printed arms change the balance of power between centralization and decentralization?

Robert Liu '20


Tuesday 6/2: The Internet, Intelligence Agencies, and Neo-Fascism

Join us for a discussion on the new faces of fascism, what American and German intelligence agencies are not doing about them, and the related issues of racism in police forces and the justification for mass surveillance.

Sabrina Reguyal '22


Monday 5/18: End-of-Year Celebration

Reflections on how much we've grown! Summer planning! Special graduation ceremony for the seniors <3

Your loving non-seniors


Monday 5/11: Dean's Date Eve

Chill hang & Gear design


Monday 5/4: A Deep Dive Into the Deep Web

The "Deep Web" is the mysterious underbelly of the Internet - but how true are all the stories?

Sandun Bambarandage '20, Maia Hamin '20


Monday 4/27: Data Collection & Processing in Consumer IoT Devices

What sort of data does your wearables and smart home devices gather? What can observers infer from this data, and what happens after it leaves your device?

Hien Pham '23


Monday 4/20: Digital Rights in the Pandemic Age

What technologies are countries using to confront the coronavirus crisis? How should governments and citizens navigate the tradeoffs between public health and individual privacy?

Maia Hamin '20 & Betsy Pu '22


Monday 4/13: AR, VR, & Brain-Machine Interfaces

What are brain-machine interfaces? How are they related to AR/VR? Why should we connect ourselves to computers and what are the ethical implications of doing so?

Theodor Marcu '20


Monday 4/6: Cyber Warfare

Individual cyber criminals steal credit card information. State-sponsored hackers destroy nuclear plants. Join us as we discuss the known cyber capabilities of nations, and what a full-scale cyber war between governments would look like.

Sandun Bambarandage '20


Monday 3/30: Industry's Influence on Academia

How do tech companies influence academic research, education, and student culture? How does this manifest at Princeton?

Prof. Jennifer Rexford


Monday 3/23: Software Ownership & Control

Should companies own fan-made modifications of their software? Should Google allow adblockers in Chrome? Should we all just go open source?

Alec Leng '21


Monday 3/9: Education and Technology

As technology infiltrates classrooms, who’s really benefiting? Do kindergartners learn better on iPads? Is social media presence a useful metric for school admissions? What student data is being collected and sold under our noses?

Ross Teixeira, CITP Doctoral Student


Monday 3/2: Visions of the Future

Will facial recognition create a surveillance dystopia? How soon will we have to bow to our new AI overlords? Is it even possible to answer these questions? Come join us for a conversation on how today's emerging technologies could affect our lives in the years to come (with a little help from science fiction!).

Sandun Bambarandage '20


Monday 2/24: The Ethics of Countering Disinformation

Warning messages can help counter disinformation online, but should we use them? How should we weigh the risks of censorship, false positives, and backfire effects? Facing these risks, what is the right approach for policymaking?

Ben Kaiser, CITP Doctoral Student


Monday 2/17: Issues in Facial Recognition & Surveillance

What are the moral, ethical, and legal implications of applying facial recognition to body cameras and surveillance cameras? (How) should we regulate facial recognition technology in the public and private sphere? How does facial recognition change the nature of protest?

Ayushi Sinha '20


Monday 2/10: Amazon & Anti-Competitive Practice

Is Amazon engaging in anti-competitive behavior? How can/should regulators respond?

Maia Hamin '20, Sabrina Reguyal '22


Monday 2/3: Labor Battles in Big Tech

What are tech workers organizing for? How are companies striking back?

Robert Liu '20