Hello there. I'm


Ranya Sharma

I’m a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago studying computer science and political science, interested in the intersection of technology and policy.

General Info

  • LocationI split my time between the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park and South Barrington in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago
  • E-mailThe best way to reach me is via email atranya at ranyasharma dot com
Picture of Ranya Sharma - University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois

Current Work

I am a member of the Network Operations and Internet Security (NOISE) Lab, where I primarily work with Dr. Nick Feamster on internet measurement and security.

Quality of Encrypted DNS Resolvers

Recently, many browser vendors have deployed DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) to encrypt DNS queries in response to growing privacy risks. Most browsers select between only a handful of resolvers despite 100+ resolvers existing. This allows for those mainstream resolvers to sit on heaps of user data, simply shifting the original privacy problems to a different set of third parties. For this reason, we study the wider set of encrypted DoH resolvers to better understand the viability of resolvers beyond the rather popular ones that vendors select from.

We explored the performance of a large group of DoH resolvers through two tools. With the first tool, we measured DNS query response times and ping times from vantage points in North America, Asia, and Europe. For the second tool, we added our measurement harness to an existing network measurement platform, collecting data from 20+ raspberry pi devices in home networks across the Chicago area.

For this project, I used MaxMind’s GeoIP services, DIG, AWS, Matplotlib, and Pandas for data parsing.

User Understanding of Encrypted DNS Interfaces

This project was accepted to the 32nd USENIX Symposium. I presented our paper at USENIX and at IETF 117.

The encrypted DNS ecosystem is increasingly becoming a place in which various internet stakeholders fight for control through technical protocol design. Many browsers provide choices of only a few common resolvers, creating privacy risks because it allows for a handful of mainstream resolvers to sit on heaps of user data. This consolidation creates a power imbalance which has implications for security and performance. Since humans are impacted the most by browser configurations of DNS settings, we studied their awareness and knowledge.

Through a two part survey via Prolific, we considered the Opera, Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Brave, and Android OS encrypted DNS interfaces. After analyzing participants’ responses, we provided recommendations as to how default settings should be designed, the additional information that users should be provided, and how privacy risks can be ameliorated.

For this project, I used Prolific, Qualtrics, Matplotlib, and Pandas.

The Digital Divide across Chicago Neighborhoods

This paper was accepted and presented at TPRC 2022.

There has been discourse around two separate topics—benchmarking Internet performance standards and Internet equity—but methods to address these subjects have been centered on metrics that don’t adequately convey user experience. Further, samples frequently don’t accurately represent populations and are subsequently not suitable for answering questions about equity.

We considered the types of sampling method and metrics that can be used for benchmarking Internet service provider performance. We also highlighted data from a sample across Chicago that is specifically designed to answer questions of equity, studying how Internet performance in a specific high-income neighborhood compares with Internet performance in a specific low-income neighborhood.

For this project, I used Influx, Grafana, Pandas, and Matplotlib.

WiFi Bottlenecks in Home Networks

As broadband Internet speeds increase, WiFi networks are increasingly becoming access bottlenecks. In many cases, bottlenecks lead to the actual speeds which households have to be significantlylower than the Internet speed they buy from their ISP.

We studied the extent to which this bottleneck exists by analyzing home network measurements in 44 households. We continuously measured the user’s Internet performance from a wireless client inside the home network (e.g. the cable modem) and from a wired point of access to the user’s ISP.

For this project, I analyzed data using Pandas and Matplotlib.

Previous Work & Volunteer


Research Intern

University of Chicago, 2021-2022

I worked as a paid Research Assistant for The University of Chicago’s Data and Computing (CDAC) Lab in summer of 2021, mentored by University of Chicago professor, Dr. Nick Feamster. Continuing into fall and winter of 2021 and now into 2022, I am working on two research projects as a paid Intern for CDAC. These internship experiences nurture my ongoing interest in computer science and have served as my first immersive experience in the field of cybersecurity.


Public Relations Committee, National Team

Chicago, 2020-2022

I serve on the National Team as a member of the Public Relations Committee of GirlCon, an international tech conference for women. I coordinate GirlCon’s annual conference that aims to empower the next generation of women in STEM.


Board Member

Barrington, 2018-2022

In the last four years, I have participated as a member of Gir1 C0de, Barrington High School's club promoting women in STEM. I have also served as a Board Member since junior year

Skulls & Drills


Chicago, Since 2018

The mission of Skulls & Drills (a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization) is to make brain surgeries possible for those who need it but cannot afford it. Many victims are unable to receive timely treatment, due to its high costs. We understand the fatal outcomes that result when one receives inadequate or no treatment, so we work to alleviate this issue.

Barrington High School Debate

Debate Team Captain

Barrington, since Fall 2018

I have been participating in debate since my freshman year of high school, and attended an intensive debate camp at the Victory Briefs Institute during the summer before my sophomore year, to further and strengthen my skills in debate. The primary reason that I initially started debate was due to my interest in current events and my strong opinions on these various topics. However, I was surprised at the intricacies of debate and how it involves utilizing many more skills. My passion for debate truly stems from how unpredictable it is and how it always remains challenging, because you are always debating people better than you. I can also see how debate has impacted other parts of my life through my heightened abilities to think quickly and generate new arguments.

Revere Court Memory Care

Facility Volunteer

Barrington, since Summer 2017

I have been volunteering at Revere Court Memory Care ever since I was in 8th grade, and it has been a part of my routine ever since. Being able to simply put a smile on a patient’s face or make them laugh gives me an unmatched feeling of joy. I typically entertain them through trivia, playing bingo, making crafts, and painting their nails. What draws me most to continue volunteering is watching my bond strengthen with them.

Activities & Summer Camps

Python Bootcamp


Summer 2020

I learned the Python Programming Language in the summer of 2020 through the "2020 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python" at Udemy. The course covers the basics of Python and introduces advanced topics including web scraping and data structures. It also includes two milestone projects, one capstone project, and mini-projects to accompany the modules. I am using Python in Data Science projects.

Victory Briefs Institute

Debate Camp

UCLA, Los Angeles, Summer 2019

I attended an intensive debate camp in Los Angeles for two weeks at the Victory Briefs Institute. Through modules twice a day, private mentor sessions, and daily drills and practice rounds, my debate skills were taken to another level. With this full immersion into the world of debate, I fell more and more in love with debate as each day passed. Further than strengthening my debate skills, though, I garnered skills pertaining to independence, confidence, and being a leader.

Tarana Kathak Academy


Bartlett, since Summer 2010

Dance is an art form that I hold close to my heart. From the tender age of six, I began Kathak (a North Indian Classical Dance), and it has remained a significant part of my life ever since. As I grew, dance became a sort of meditation and comfort in my weekly routine. It has taught me about strength, discipline, confidence, and much more beyond the realm of dance. During the summer of 2019, I did my Visharad, which is the term for my graduation from Kathak. Refer to my blog post below for more details on the special day!

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