Project 2: Research Paper (COMP 5407W, Jan-Apr 2019) - last updated Jan.13, 2019

This individual project consists of an oral presentation in class (30-40 minutes) and a formal written report (maximum 20 pages), on a course-related topic of current interest in the research community. To avoid substantial overlap in class presentations, topics must be approved by the instructor (first-come first-served basis). To avoid double-credit, topics should not substantially overlap research projects begun prior to this course, e.g., with a thesis supervisor or another course.

Important Dates:
Feb.28, 2019: last day for area topic approval by instructor (see details below)
Mar.21-Apr.4, 2019: class presentations by students
Apr.9, 2019: written reports (hard-copy, due at start of class). No extensions.

Marking Scheme:
30%: written report.
10%: in-class presentation. This portion includes attendance/paticipation during other presentations.

Written report. Based on relevant published research papers, the report must be written in the style of a research paper (abstract, introduction, numbered sections, etc.), with proper academic citation of all sources relied upon. Grades will be awarded for demonstrating a solid understanding of the area, insight (e.g., filling in explanatory gaps or smoothly integrating results of several papers), and clarity. Besides technical content, editorial style is important; grades will be deducted for poor presentation (grammar, spelling, punctuation), poor organization, ambiguity and vagueness. For top marks in the written portion, students would generally be expected to make novel extensions to existing research, or be well on their way to a publishable paper. The written report should provide, as a minimum, a research survey including:
  1. an outline and summary of the selected problem(s) and existing solutions in the area;
  2. identification and explanations of important recent results and trends; and
  3. discussion of important open problems and future research directions.
Oral presentation. The class presentation should include a subset of the above, and as a minimum a clear description of the main problems being addressed in the area, and solid motivation (e.g., why the problems are important). It may involve use of a laptop plus data projector, handouts, etc. (all arranged by the student).

Implementations: Software implementations are not expected, but may be included at the student's option. If included, marks for the implementation aspect will be dependent on communicating clearly and concisely what was learned from the implementation, and explaining its novelty or importance to the project. Prior consultation with the intructor is strongly recommended.

Approval of topics: The project proposal must be approved by the instructor (see above deadline); this is best done by sending an email including the proposed topic name, a paragraph defining its scope and goals, and an initial list of reference papers (including paper title, author names, conference name and date). Topics must be related to the course content. For topic ideas, consider the topics in the detailed course outline, class discussions, and papers cited by both those covered in class and recent papers in high-profile security conferences and workshops. The paper(s) forming the basis of the project must include papers from recent (2016, 2017, 2018) "big four" international security conferences: USENIX Security, ACM CCS, NDSS, IEEE Symp. Security and Privacy. It is strongly recommended that you visit the "technical program" page from each of these conferences for paper titles, author names, abstracts and links to full papers.