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This course focuses on computer security, exploring a range of topics – from systems security to web security, edge-network security, and privacy – to illustrate some of the modern research challenges in the area and the standards for advancement. It is not designed to be a tutorial course, but rather to give students the context to understand current security research and evaluate their interest in the field. The course will examine both the defensive and offensive side of the field. At the conclusion of the course, the student will have the foundation to conduct research in computer security and to apply the latest security research to a particular area of practice.


Since the primary goal of this course is to prepare to you to do research, the grading and evaluation for this course is simple: (1) participate in class discussions and (2) work on a project, write the research paper describing it, and give a short talk.

Class participation (30%)

Students are expected to read the assigned papers in detail and review the papers before each class. During lectures we will discuss the papers and evaluate students based on their participation and not just reviews. Students are encouraged to lead discussions (in teams of 2) but not required.

Research project (70%)

In groups of 3-5, students are expected to work on a research project. The goal of the project is to do original research in computer security that can be submitted to a workshop/conference. Part of the project entails a write-up and short presentation at the end of the quarter.

We will have best paper awards at the end of the quarter!

Meeting time and locating

  • Location: Pepper Canyon Hall 120
  • Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:00-6:30PM