14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research

14-850: INSuRE Cybersecurity Research - Fall 2017

Course Project: Project Proposal (group)

Due: September 29, 2017

Description: After project teams are formed, the next tasks will be to scope and define what the team is going to do, why they want to do it, what is novel about the proposed work, and what is the potential impact of the work. This will comprise a project proposal which must include a preliminary critical review of previous related work, specific goals of the project, and a detailed project plan. The project plan should include a realistic schedule of milestones, a list of potential deliverables, a budget detailing any expenses required for the project work (if appropriate), a discussion of potential risks / difficulties, and an appropriate "plan B" in case risks become roadblocks.

  1. Deeper literature survey - In order to form a well-defined project proposal, a much more thorough literature search is required, compared to what was needed for project bidding. The team must identify a sufficient set of research papers to properly motivate the importance of their problem, frame the challenges the problem presents, describe the work that has been done to date, and justify the need for continued work in the area.
  2. Problem definition and scoping - Guided by the literature survey, the team identify a concise problem statement / research hypothesis. The team will build on this definition to outline a set of project goals, milestones, and outcomes that they expect to achieve by the end of the semester. Note, this is not a commitment to do these things, just an expectation if everything goes well. The plan should be scoped appropriately for the size, skills, and capabilities of the team and the duration of the course. In addition, the team should identify the major risks or potential roadblocks that could arise and develop appropriate "plan B" approaches for each one.
  3. Supplementary planning - In addition to the technical aspects of the project plan, the team must also consider various aspects of project management. At a minimum, the team must include a schedule of milestones (not course deliverables, but rather project outcomes or checkpoints) and a budget for any hardware, software, services, etc. that will be needed to execute the project (you do not need to account for your own human effort). A breakdown of tasks across team members is often helpful, though not a necessary component of the proposal.

Deliverables and Submission: At least one member of the team should submit a .pdf version of the project proposal via Canvas by the above deadline; if multiple group members submit, the latest submission will be taken as final. All team member names should be included on the first page of the proposal. Please note, the project proposal document will be archived on the PURR repository and available to all current and future students, instructors, and sponsors involved in INSuRE course offerings across multiple universities and organizations. As such, students should refrain from including any sensitive personal or proprietary information in their proposals.

Grading: This project deliverable is worth 30 points with five (5) points allocated for a detailed and critical literature review with sufficient references, four (4) points for clear and concise motivation and statement of the problem or research hypothesis, four (4) points for outlining the specific project goals, five (5) points for a detailed project plan, three (3) points for detailing project challenges/risks and a suitable mitigation plan, three (3) points for a detailed schedule of project milestones and deliverables, three (3) points for a concise project budget, and three (3) points for outlining team information that supports the project management.