University of Chicago
Department of Computer Science
Office: John Crerar Library (JCL) 363
[ CV | Publications | Citations | Research group ]
Since January 2017, I have been faculty in the University of Chicago's Department of Computer Science. I started as a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in July 2023. I founded the UChicago SUPERgroup, an interdisciplinary research collective with dozens of incredible members. Our research spans computer security, privacy, human-computer interaction (HCI), and ethical AI. We are especially interested in developing data-driven methods for helping users make better security and privacy decisions, as well as making complex computer systems more usable for non-technical users. Our work has been supported by nine NSF grants, as well as grants from Mozilla Research, Meta, Google, and the Data Transparency Lab.
I have been fortunate to receive a Quantrell Award for Undergraduate Teaching (2021), NSF CAREER Award (2021), SIGCHI Outstanding Dissertation Award (2018), four best/distinguished paper awards (USENIX Security 2023, CHI 2017, USENIX Security 2016, and UbiComp 2014), five honorable mentions for best paper (CHI 2021, CHI 2021, CHI 2020, CHI 2016, and CHI 2012), the John Karat Usable Privacy and Security Student Research Award (2016), an NDSEG Fellowship (2012), and a Fulbright Scholarship (2010). Jointly with the other core members of the CMU passwords group, I also received the Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence (2020) and the IEEE Cybersecurity Award for Practice (2018). I have strong interests in teaching and outreach to high school students, particularly for broadening participation in CS.
I earned a PhD in 2016 from Carnegie Mellon University's Societal Computing program, where I was advised by the amazing Lorrie Cranor. My dissertation focused on supporting users' password-security decisions with data. Earlier, I earned an AB in computer science from Harvard University and worked for three years at Rutgers University on outreach and diversity programs.
My first name is pronounced "blaze," and my full name is pronounced "blazer." I strongly prefer to be called Blase rather than Professor Ur or Dr. Ur, both of which sound ridiculous. (Note: just Blase, not Professor Blase or Dr. Blase. Also not Blasé.) I use he/him pronouns; they/them pronouns work just fine, too.
I am also a musician and photographer, and previously a theatre designer. I ride my bicycle (almost) everywhere, collect records, travel, and drink too much coffee. I'm from somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.