Joseph Squillaro

Joseph Squillaro

I have always been fascinated by the age of technological acceleration we live in and how we can better understand the cyber world around us which has been integrated into so many facets of our lives. When I first came to Penn, I knew I wanted to continue this interest and do research in cybersecurity and technology policy, but with so many research opportunities available, I was easily overwhelmed. Thankfully the RPA program through CURF clarified my journey into research at Penn and introduced me to the College House Research Program where I was the Research Fellow for Harrison College House. Specifically, I researched the efficacy of the Two-Step Verification Protocol employed at Penn and elsewhere on the basis of a cyberlaw and cybersecurity prospective. I have also analyzed various other cybersecurity protocols to determine which ones are most efficient given the tradeoffs of safety and convenience.

Currently, I am pursuing my honors thesis in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Department with Dr. Weiwei Tasch on the Digital Open Source Phenomenon. The focus of my research is on what drives people to contribute to open source software and hardware projects despite knowing they will receive neither attribution nor monetary compensation. By leveraging the principles of behavioral economics, I hope to ascertain the mechanism behind this contribution in order to encourage future utilization of this unique digital phenomenon, a phenomenon that has led to the development of many digital applications we use today.

Research has opened my eyes to a different side of academia and I am grateful to be able to contribute to making the digital world both a safer and more understood place while also studying what I am passionate about. If you have any questions on humanities, behavioral economics, moral psychology, policy, or tech-based research at the University of Pennsylvania, please feel free to reach out to me via email!

  • University Scholar C'22
  • Honors Thesis Research on the Digital Open Source Phenomenon (2020-Present)
  • Recipient of Best Philosophy, Politics and Economics Research Paper in an Academic Journal Award (2021)
  • Penn Institute for Urban Research Student Fellow on Smart Cities (2020-Present)
  • Research Assistant for Dr. Weiwei Tasch on Norm Building in the Arctic (2020-2021)
  • College House Research Fellowship, Harrison College House (2019-2020)