Don Porter's MS Project Course Information

I plan to supervise a limited number of M.S. projects each semester. In general, my research focuses on OS design, concurrent programming, and security. To get a better sense of my research, take a look at my prior publications.

My general approach to the project is to identify fairly well-defined implementation projects that can be reasonably accomplished within two semesters and, if successful, will be a useful contribution to an ongoing research project. Within the first few weeks of the course, the student and I will decide on a project and concrete deliverables for the end of the first semester. Letter grades for making each milestone will be agreed upon within the first month of the semester.

All project courses require my written approval. Do not register for CSE 523 or 524 without my written approval first.


If you think you might want to do a 523 project with me, please take my graduate course your first semester if one is offered. This is not always an option, for instance in Spring of 2011 (my first semester at Stony Brook).

It is important that a student considering a M.S. project have good time management skills. The best indicator of this is good grades (mostly or all A's) your first semester. If you cannot first manage your course load without a project, it is unlikely you will manage the same courseload and a project to everyone's satisfaction. This is not a hard-and-fast rule.

How to proceed

If you are interested in taking 523 with me, please email me your resume and your grades at Stony Brook. We will then schedule a meeting to talk and go from there.


Thus far, I have gotten more requests for projects than I have ideas to supervise, so I will not be able to take every student that asks to work with me. If you have a good idea for a project, all the better, but it is not necessary.

If I cannot supervise you for a 523 project and you are interested in doing a project with me, you are welcome to take my Spring coure (CSE 624), which includes a substantial term project. The course is cross listed as CSE 522 and can meet your M.S. basic option requirement. If you do an outstanding job in this project, I am happy to discuss options to continue working together in the following semester.