14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research

14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research - Fall 2017

Instructor: Patrick Tague
Email: tague [at] cmu [dot] edu
Office: B23 218
Phone: 650-335-2827
Skype: ptague


Class Meetings:
@Pittsburgh campus: Friday 1:30-3:20pm EDT, INI DEC
@SV campus: Friday 10:30am-12:20pm PDT, B23 212

Course Description:
This course engages students in real-world cybersecurity and information systems security problems of interest to government organizations and industry partners. Students will learn how to apply research techniques, think clearly about problems and constraints, formulate and analyze potential solutions, evaluate solutions through simulation and experimentation, and communicate their results effectively. Working in small groups under the mentorship of technical clients from government and industry, teams of students will formulate, carry out, and present original research on current cybersecurity/information assurance problems of interest. Project topics come from lists supplied by government and industry partners. The course will be synchronized with similar offerings at several partner schools via videoconference, using resources provided through the INSuRE program. The course will be open to graduate students in computer science and engineering (e.g., INI, CS, ECE, Information Systems, etc.) who have background in information security / information assurance and have significant expertise in at least one relevant technical area. All students will be initially waitlisted for the course until instructors have the chance to verify student qualifications beyond the basic prerequisites.

Evaluation & Grading:
Grades will be determined based on multiple deliverables for the group project done in the course. Students will complete weekly progress dashboards to facilitate discussions with their project mentor and also provide five major deliverables (described in more detail below): (1) a written project "bid", (2) a statement of work (written and oral), (3) a written literature review, (4) a project progress update (written and oral), and (5) a final report (oral and written). Students will be individually evaluated on all project deliverables, and the instructor will include input from confidential peer evaluations in student evaluation. All five deliverables will contribute to the final grade as specified in the project details below.

14741 or 18730; instructor approval
Contact the instructor directly with questions about prerequisites

Reading Material & Textbooks:
We will not use any specific textbook, though some could be made available for background reading purposes. Project groups will rely primarily on research papers, some of which will be provided by the project's technical lead and others of which will be found by the students.

Project Details and Deliverables:

Students will participate in a significant group project. During the semester, teams will give several presentations in class and prepare several written reports, in addition to weekly progres dashboards. Project details and deadlines are available here. All deliverables will be submitted via Blackboard - email submissions will NOT be accepted.

Daily Schedule:

Students should consult the daily schedule for a complete list of the topics covered, important dates, and events. Note that this daily schedule is tentative and can change at any time.

Policies, Ethics, etc.:

Students participating in the Cybersecurity Research Seminar are expected to follow various academic policies set forth by departments, colleges, and the university, as well as additional policies specific to this course. Please see this course's policy overview page for more details.