This course has one big, research-oriented project. You can form a team of one to three for the project. Everyone in a team will get the same score.

Project Topics

Below are several project topics for you to choose. You can also propose your own project topic, but it needs to get my approval.

Project topics can be found on Canvas for registered students.


Below are what you need to submit for the course project and what I will score your project based on. The percentage is relative to the whole grade of the course.

Project Proposals (15%)

Project proposals are 1-2 page writeup about 1) what is the problem you want to solve in your project, 2) why is this problem important, 3) what’s the challenge of this project; 4) what’s your overall approach to solve this problem; 5) what you plan to do specifically in your project; and 6) any additional information you deem appropriate as a project proposal or preliminary results/finding/study (this is not necessary).

In addition, you should add an appendix to provide a timeline and milestones of your project, also in the appendix, please list your hardware/OS/VM/environment requirement during development period and during experimental period, e.g., do you need to work on native OS or is VM OK? what type of user account do you need? do you need root? Appendix does not count towards the total length of your proposal. I strongly suggest you limit the project proposal length to within 2 pages (10pts minimal). Please submit PDF only.

Project Progress Report (5%)

Use 1-2 pages to write about the progress of your project, what have you done, what is left, if your project goal has changed, and a time table of how you are going to achieve your goal with the remaining tasks. Please submit PDF only.

Final Project Summary (33%)

Each group should write a summary report of your project. This report should summarize both the project itself (problem definition, motivation, design overview, detailed solutions and implementations, evaluation methods and results, related works) and your experience in doing the project (difficulties that you’ve met, what you’ve tried and spend a lot of time at but didn’t work, what techniques/tricks you found worked well, etc.). There is no strict percentage of how much each part of the summary should contribute to.

The main purpose of the summary report is to provide a way for me to evaluate your project and what you have achieved over the semester. But as a graduate student, practicing technical report (e.g., papers, whitepapers, proposals) writing is very important to your career. Thus, you should view this as a good chance of practicing and pay attention to the writing quality as well (i.e., write clearly, has a logical, smooth flow, and plot useful, clear figures).

The format of the summary report follows common conference styles (as follows). The deadline for submission is Dec 8th 23:59pm. No late submissions will be considered (i.e., zero points towards the project part of your grade). You should make sure that your submission prints properly on US-style 8.5” x 11” paper with the following requirements:

  • Between 3 to 5 single-spaced 8.5” x 11” pages, including figures, tables, and references.
  • Use 10-point type on 12-point (single-spaced) leading, two-column format, and Times Roman or a similar font for the body of the summary.
  • All text and figures must fit a text block 6.5” wide x 9” deep.
  • Pages should be numbered, and figures and tables should be legible when printed, without requiring magnification.
  • Do not send files meant for word-processing packages (Microsoft Word, LaTeX, etc.). If you are using Microsoft Word or LaTeX, please make use of these templates and sample first pages (two-column format) from the USENIX templates page, if possible. You can also refer to this paper for a reference of formatting. Notice that this example was a conference paper and your summary’s content should not follow this paper.

Final Project Presentation (7%)

Each group will have around 10-15 minutes to give a final presentation towards the end of the semester.