The following describes the course requirements in more detail:
The goal of this course is to help you prepare for research in computer security, as well as for research in other domains for which there will be a strong security component. We will therefore read a number of important papers in the field. Reading the papers will help you prepare for the classroom discussions, which in turn will help you contribute to everyone's overall learning experience, including your own. While you may not fully understand all of the papers, you should at least attempt to read all of the papers (but you may skip any appendices).
To help motivate the classroom discussions, everyone enrolled in the course must submit a short evaluation of each assigned reading. There will be at most two assigned readings per class. Your evaluations should have the following form:
The evaluations must be submitted to me via email by 6am local time on the day of the class. You may submit evaluations as a text, PDF, or PostScript file. If you choose to submit a PDF or PostScript file, then your evaluation for each reading must be less than one page long, be single-spaced, use 12pt font, and have at least 1 inch margins; I expect for most paper evaluations to be approximately 1/2 to 3/4 pages long. If you submit a text file, then please be sure that the length of your evaluation corresponds roughly to the above criteria for PDF/PostScript submissions. Students are not required to submit an evaluation for a paper that they present to the class.
NEW: I realize that some times are busier for people than others, e.g., right before a conference submission deadline. Therefore, you are allowed 6 free reviews, meaning that you do not have to submit a review for 6 papers of your choice. These 6 are in addition to not having to write a written review for a paper that you present. I still expect you to read the papers before class and be prepared to discuss them.
One of the best ways to deeply understand a topic is to discuss the topic with others. Therefore, everyone is expected to actively participate in the classroom discussions. You may use your paper evaluations as the basis for discussion, but please do not feel a need to limit your comments to what you wrote in your evaluations. I encourage everyone to ask questions about or offer clarifications for confusing parts of the papers, and to think about the limitations of or possible extensions to the works being discussed.
Everyone enrolled in the course will present either one or two papers during the quarter, depending on the number of people enrolled. The goal for each presentation is to generate an interesting discussion about the paper. We will generally have two presentations per class, followed by some discussion, which means that each presentation should be around 25 minutes long. If you will be presenting two papers in a single session, then please target around 45 to 50 minutes for your entire presentation; if the papers are closely related, then you are free to subdivide your 45--50 minutes between the two papers however you wish.
While you are free to structure your presentation in any manner that you choose, I expect all presentations to contain the following elements: a brief summary of the research in the paper (what problem does the paper address, why is the problem interesting, what is the approach, how effective was the approach, and so on), a discussion of the paper's strengths and weaknesses, and a list of topics/questions for discussion. When preparing your presentation please keep in mind that there may be people sitting in on the class who are not enrolled and who have not read the paper.
I will schedule meetings with each of you approximately one week before your scheduled presentation. This will be an opportunity for us to discuss the paper's contributions and possible discussion points in advance of your presentation. If you already have a draft of your slides, or partial draft, I will be more than happy to go over those slides with you as well.
Those enrolled in the course for a letter grade (CSE 599 G) will do a course research project. The goal of the project is to help give you a deeper understanding of how to think about and solve a real problem from a computer security perspective. You may choose a research project related to any area of computer security, including areas not directly covered in this course. A conference-style report for your project is due by 6am on 12/13. You will also give a 20-minute presentation during the course final exam period.
You may work in groups of 1--3 people. You may choose your own groups, or I will form groups for you if you haven't already done so by the end of the second week of class.
I strongly encourage you to be ambitious and have fun with your projects. While certainly not required, I expect some of the projects to evolve into conference or workshop publications; if you're interested in exploring such a possibility, please let me know. Also, if you have a project that might require special resources from me, please contact me as soon as possible.
The following is a more detailed description of the project timeline and requirements:
There are numerous resources on the Internet about how to write a good research paper. If you haven't already read them, you might find the following resources helpful: