Archive for the 'Announcements' Category

Project Presentations

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Please email me a link to your presentation slides (which I will add to the schedule in the previous post). Thanks!

Presentation Schedule

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Here’s the schedule for the project presentations:

Tuesday, 1 December
Derek Davis, Improved Security Through Dynamic Instrumentation
Michael Deighan, Secure Electronic Health Records: The German Experience
Carrie Ruppar and Ryan Layer
Zak Fry

Thursday, 3 December
Kirti Chawla, Analyzing and Safeguarding Human-Kinesics Information in Wirelessly Instrumented Space
Yan Huang
Tianhao Tong, Secure Data from Unknown Third Party Gadgets
Yu Yao and Jiawei Wang

Tuesday, 8 December
Yuchen Zhou
Mona Sergi and Paul Diorio, Information in Camoflauge
Minh Le
Ming Mao and Chih-hao Shen, Web Services in Clouds with Privacy Almost FREE

You should prepare to give a 15 minute presentation on your project, and there will be a few minutes for questions following your presentation. You’ll find some advice for giving good talks here.

The final project reports are due Friday, December 11 (by 4:59pm). See the project page for details on the final reports. Please turn in your report both on paper (drop off at my office) and by email.

Upcoming Schedule: Project Proposals

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

According to the original syllabus, project proposals are due Tuesday, October 13. I will accept proposal by email (without penalty) until 5pm on Friday, Oct 16. There will be no class on Thursday, October 15. On Tuesday, October 20, we will discuss the projects. Everyone should be prepared on Oct 20th to give a short (4-minute) presentation that motivates and describes your project (you may use slides for this if you want).

As a reminder from the project page, the project proposal should include:

  • Clear Statement of the Problem — what question is your
    project seeking to answer? If your project is successful, what will the
    research community know after you are done that it does not already

  • Motivation — why is your problem interesting and

  • Related Work — this doesn’t need to be complete yet,
    but should be enough to show the problem is relevant and interesting and
    make it clear what has and has not already been solved by other
    researchers. You should make sure to relate the related work to your
    project, not just summarize a lot of papers you have read. For every
    work you describe, your related work section should explain clearly why
    it is relevant to what you want to do.

  • Research Plan — concrete description of what you plan
    to do. Your research plan must include clear milestones for every week
    until the end of the project.

  • Evaluation — description of how you will decide if the
    project is successful. How do you know if you have answered the problem
    question? Note that your project does not need to be a
    successful research project to satisfy the requirements for the
    course project, but you do need some way of evaluating the success of
    your project.

We expect most project proposals will be about 5 pages long, but there
is no strict length requirement or expectation.

Next Tuesday

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

We’ll meet as normal next Tuesday (Oct 6), even though this is a University reading day. (Consider this a “make-up” meeting for Thursday, Oct 15 when we will not meet.)

Project Mini-Proposals: Due Sept 25

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Project mini-proposals are due Friday, 25 September. Your mini-proposal should describe the question you intend to answer, and why it is interesting. Submit your mini-proposal by email to as a PDF or plain text.

In next week’s classes, you will have a chance to form project teams and get feedback from the students on your project ideas. I will be out-of-town all next week, but reachable by email if you have any questions.

Presentation Schedule

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The updated presentation schedule is here. I have changed some things from the
signup sheet to try to balance things better.

Course Announcement

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Course Description: This special topics course is a research seminar in computer security. The course will focus on active research areas in computer security, but the specific topics will be largely determined by the interests of the students.

Meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:45pm in Thorton Hall D222.

Coordinator: David Evans

Expected Background: Students in the seminar are expected to have enough background in theory, cryptography, operating systems, security, and networks to be able to understand research papers from security conferences. Students lacking relevant background will need to supplement the seminar readings with additional material.

All students are expected to read and think about all of the assigned readings. Each student will be expected to present and lead the discussion a few times during the semester.  The other major requirement is to complete a substantial research project. See for more  details.

Format: The planned format for most seminar meetings will involve in-depth discussions of selected research papers. At the beginning of the meeting, students will be randomly selected to answer one of the core questions: (1) what problem is the work attempting to solve?, (2) what are the major contributions of the work?, (3) what is the key claimed result?. After these questions have been satisfactorily answered, the scheduled discussion leader will present
the paper and lead a discussion that goes into some technical depth on the work. For most papers, we will have a second seminar meeting that follows up on the original presentation. The student assigned to lead the second meeting is responsible for addressing unresolved questions at the first meeting, and for finding and presenting other works that
relate to original paper.

Topics: Papers may be selected from any area of active security research. Examples of possible topics include binary analysis, botnets, cloud computing, privacy-preserving systms, TPMs, and virtual machines.