CS 378: System Security - Fall 2015

Faculty Lead: Professor Calvin Lin and Professor Mohit Tiwari.
Research Educator: Ashay Rane.
Teaching Assistant: Gunalan Karun.
Class meets on Fridays from 10am to 11am in GDC 2.210.

Other Instances

Spring 2015 course webpage.
Spring 2016 course webpage.
Fall 2016 course webpage.

Office hours

Calvin LinMon, Wed: 3:30-4:30pmGDC 5.512
Mohit TiwariPOB 6.240
Ashay RaneMon, Wed: 2-3pmGDC 5.440
Gunalan KarunMon, Wed: 12-1pmGDC 5.440

Course description

This course will explore a series of core security principles and concepts from the perspective of both the attacker and the defender, as students are exposed to tools and techniques used in modern attacks and defenses. Students will develop a variety of research skills, as they learn to read research papers critically, to communicate technical ideas clearly, and to conduct experiments thoughtfully. In this semester, our goal will be to not only read more research papers but also to make specific, tangible progress in implementing research projects.

Course structure

You will work in groups of two (or at most three). Each week, we will meet twice -- once for reading and discussing a research paper and the second time for reviewing project progress and obtaining feedback.

Topics for class discussion:

Reading material

Assorted technical papers, roughly one per week (there is no textbook).

Reading assignments

We will read, review and discuss a number of papers in this class, with approximately one review due per week. Links to papers and the review deadline will be posted on Canvas. Reviews of assigned papers are due at midnight. Of course, you need not wait until midnight to turn in your reviews.

These responses do not have to be long (though sometimes they may be), but they should be thoughtfully prepared. In particular, the responses can contain many different types of remarks:


Use of Piazza for class discussions is highly encouraged, and if you haven't signed up already, please sign up here. Important updates will be delivered via Piazza. Using Piazza also helps the TAs in answering questions that may be of interest to more than one student, without individually replying to each email. Please note that by default, everything you post on Piazza will be visible to the other students as well. This is desirable in many cases but not all the time. If you want to discuss your solution (or anything that may give a hint of the solution) with the instructors, please ensure that you select “Instructors” in the Post to section.

Computer Lab

Starting this semester, we will have access to a computer lab. Note that this lab space is shared with a few other FRI streams. Reservations from other streams will be updated in this calendar. Please check the calendar to ensure that the lab has not been reserved before you use it.

Student code of conduct

UTCS lists the code of conduct here, which lists the department's expectations from you and what you can expect from the department. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask!