ECS 289M, Introduction to Research in Computer and Information Security
This course engages students in national cybersecurity and information systems security problems. Students will learn how to apply research techniques, think clearly about these issues, formulate and analyze potential solutions, and communicate their results. Working in small groups under the mentorship of technical clients from government and industry, each student will formulate, carry out, and present original research on current cybersecurity and information assurance problems of interest to the nation. Support for this course is provided in part by the National Science Foundation under grant #1344369. As part of the award, this course will be run in a synchronized distance fashion, coordinating some activities with our partner schools (Purdue University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Dakota State University, Iowa State University, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of Texas–Dallas, and University of Texas–San Antonio) and our technical clients.
Each student must have the ability, background, and motivation to carry out original research in cybersecurity and information assurance. Students may come from computer science, computer engineering, or any related technical field (e.g., electrical engineering, information systems, math). Students are expected to have a good background in computer science and some knowledge of computer security. Each student is expected to bring significant expertise, interest, and experience in at least one relevant technical area.
Working in teams, each student must complete a research project on a focused topic in cybersecurity. The project must aim to accomplish new, significant results (survey papers are not acceptable). Each student must communicate his or her findings in an oral presentation to the class and in a written report in the format of a computer science technical report (about 10–20 pages). Every aspect of the project (including proposals, reviews, reports, and presentations) is intended to match the process that professional computer science researchers follow in carrying out original research.
Project topics may come from lists of problems supplied by government or industrial partners. All proposals must be approved by the instructor.
The main deliverables are a written technical report and an oral presentation describing the team’s new and significant findings (similar in form and length to those from technical research conferences such as USENIX Security). The teams and technical mentors may agree on other deliverables as well. Each student is expected to participate actively in class.
Students are allowed and encouraged (but not required) to work in groups (of up to at most five members). Typically, everyone in a group will receive the same grade.
By the end of the course, students will be expected to:
This course rests in part on the following principles.
The following items are the main milestones and deliverables for the course. See the schedule for the due dates.
Along with each assignment, we will make the rubric used to grade that assignment available. Typically, it will be on the assignment itself.
The assignments are weighted as follows:
|Project bids||10%||Progress report||20%|
|Project proposal||20%||Progress report presentation||10%|
|Literature review||20%||Instructor’s assessment||10%|
|Weekly progress reports||10%|
|Penultimate report||20%||Final report||40%|
|Penultimate presentation||10%||Final presentation||10%|
|Instructor’s assessment||10%||Weekly progress reports||10%|
The project will be evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, effective presentation, and appropriateness to the assignment:
Notice that the weekly progress reports are to be submitted to PURR and to SmartSite this quarter. They will be graded.
Please submit your work through SmartSite. We will grade it and return the grades, with our comments, on SmartSite.
Only for groups with more than one member, each member must evaluate the performance and contribution of each group member (including yourself) to the project. What did each person do and how well did they do his or her task? How well did the group function as a team? This evaluation will be read only by the instructor. It will not be graded, but turning it in will count in the instructor’s assessment. Your evaluation should be about 1 page or less—there is no special form.
Late work affects others. Peer review is an important aspect of the course, and peer review requires coordinating schedules, including among different universities. Some projects may depend on other projects. To complete the project by the end of the term, it is important to complete each milestone on time. Professional researchers often have deadlines to meet.
If you are one day late, there will be no penalty other than the opprobrium of the instructor and your fellow students. If you are more than one day late, the instructor reserves the right to deduct points — the exact penalty has not yet been determined (but will probably be something like 20% from the full score per day late).
Should you encounter an unanticipated or uncontrollable event that may prevent you from meeting a deadline, please let me know immediately, and request an extension.
One of the course outcomes is to communicate effectively with professional audiences of various types. This requires that one take personal pride in their work, and be held accountable for professional quality work. To this end, we expect your submitted work to meet the following requirements.
|You can also obtain a PDF version of this.||Version of January 4, 2016 at 12:08PM|