About Me

Shaanan is currently a fifth year Ph.D candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in Computer & Information Science. His research principally focuses on Security and Cryptography, along with relevant public policy impacts.

He is simultaneously serving as a summer intern Technologist in the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, assisting on the development of long term technology policy directions within the commission.

Shaanan is also pursuing a Master In Law, a non practicing law degree, in order to better understand the interplay between technology, policy and law.

In 2014 he graduated from the University of Melbourne Bachelor of Science (Physics/Computer Science) along with a Diploma of Music (Practical - Classical Singing), in his home country of Australia.

He is the recipient of the Excellence in Tutoring Award from the University of Melbourne, and is a highly ranked teaching assistant at the University of Pennsylvania where he has been teaching for six years.

He also serves as a 'Graduate Associate' at Riepe College House, living with and providing counseling to college freshmen.

In 2018 he served as a Cybersecurity Fellow working on U.S Federal technology policy in the office of Senator Ron Wyden. His other experience includes three months at Facebook headquarters, working to ensure secure deletion of user data.

Contact Information

Address Distribued Systems Lab
3300 Walnut St
Philadelphia PA,
Email shaanan[at]cohney.info

Research Interests

Applied Cryptography; Technology, Public Policy and Law; Computer Security

Recent Publications and Research

Invited Talks

Teaching, Tutoring & TAing

  • 2013 Spring Semester (UPenn) - Algorithms and Data Structures
  • 2013 Semester 2 (Unimelb) - Engineering Computation
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - Computer Systems
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - Foundations of Computing
  • 2014 Semester 1 (Unimelb) - TRICS Presenter (Theoretical Research in Computer Science), Cryptography
  • 2015, 2016, 2017f, 2017s (UPenn) - Computer and Network Security
  • 2015, 2016 Fall Semester (UPenn) - Operating Systems
  • 2016 Spring Semester (UPenn) - Technology and Policy

Research Group Members


Golang; C; PHP; Python; HTML/CSS; Linux Systems Administration; Cyber Security; Public Policy


  • I sing in multiple different choirs, the most significant of them being the Penn Glee Club and the Penn Pipers.
  • I spend much of my free time playing piano, predominantly works from musical theatre.
  • I came second place in a safe cracking tournament, and am working to learn and teach lockpicking.
  • I have five years of experience as an informal educator in a community youth movement.
  • More here