14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research

14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research - Fall 2017

Course Project: Project Bid (individual)

Due: September 8, 2017

Description: At the start of the semester, individuals enrolled in the INSuRE course will submit a collection of bids for the problems they are most interested and qualified to work on. The bids are collected centrally by the INSuRE operations staff, who form project teams based around the submitted bids. Each student will individually submit their collection of bids (a minimum of two, but more is sometimes better). Each bid must include the following:
  1. A personal statement of interest about the problem area,
  2. A high-level description of specific directions / sub-problems of interest within the chosen problem area, potentially including specific tasks that could be approached, relevant papers or resources the student has identified, etc.
  3. An initial idea for approaching the problem/tasks and expected project outcomes,
  4. A description of the student's relevant knowledge, technical skills, research experience, and leadership experiences that support working on this particular problem.

Tasks: In order to achieve a successful problem bid, students should include the following in their bidding process.
  1. Background reading - Beyond any references or pointers provided by the project sponsor, students should take time to explore the problem areas of interest. While we don't expect you to become an expert in a few days, it's really helpful to understand what has been done recently and what the community acknowledges as difficult. A light literature search is always recommended before starting any research project, so due diligence is extremely valuable at this stage.
  2. Matching - Once you have some background knowledge of the problem areas of interest, it's important to do a self-evaluation of your technical skills, experience, and expertise to make sure you feel comfortable working in a particular problem area. Remember, some amount of new learning is expected, but you probably don't want to learn a completely new topic area to be able to work on your project.
  3. Create your bid - The best bids are those with strong justification of why your experience matches the project and why your interests match the project as well as good ideas for potential tasks that you could do as part of the project. Keep in mind that the actual tasks that the team will work on during the semester depend on the entire team and the mentor, so the tasks you suggest may not be the ones you end up doing.

Deliverables and Submission: Each student must submit their collection of bids (pref. as separate .pdf files) by the above deadline. Submission will be via an individual deliverable in Canvas. Make sure your name is included in every file.

Grading: The collective set of bids submitted by each individual student will be worth a total of 10 points. Of these, four (4) points are allocated to the description of the problem area, including relevant background and references; four (4) points are allocated to the initial idea, including potential project tasks and outcomes; and two (2) points are allocated to relevant personal skills and experiences that support the bid.