CSE608 Fall 2005. Advanced Computer Security

Focus: Software Security


The goal of this course project is to give you the opportunity to explore some area of computer security in detail, to practice conducting research in computer security, and, with any luck, to produce a publishable paper on your research.

The first step in conducting research is to identify an open problem in computer security that you think you may be able to make progress on. If you have a high-level idea of how you will attempt to solve that problem, that's even better. While brainstorming about the problem you're interested in, you should start forming a project team of 2-3 students with similar interests.

You should submit a project proposal to me before you get too deeply comitted to one idea. Feel free to come to my office hours and discuss project ideas with me at any time.

The main artifact you should produce in this project is a 12-16 page conference-style paper describing the problem, your proposed solution, and any experiments or theorems you have to support your solution. If you end up with a "negative result", i.e. you try out a seemingly good idea but it just doesn't work, you should research why the idea doesn't work and write that up in your paper. For guidance on style and presentation, feel free to discuss with me or study any of the papers we'll read in class.

You will also make a 20-minute conference-style presentation in class about your project. When planning your presentation, be careful to consider the level of your audience: informed computer scientists who know a lot about software security but very little about your particular problem. Try to cover the main ideas from your project rather than the technical details.

Since this class spans the fields of computer security and programming languages, your project may be on any topic in either of those fields. It does not have to be in the area of software security. You may combine this project with another class project, assuming the other professor agrees.


Project Ideas

I encourage you to brainstorm and choose a project that interests you and, if possible, is relevant to other research you are performing. Feel free to use one of the following project ideas, or to read them for inspiration.