Term Projects

General information

Your term project should address a problem related to computer security and consist of a design of some computer security system or technique, or an analysis and possible improvement of some existing system or technique. The main goal of the project is to do original work on a problem of interest in cybersecurity.

Project Topics

The topic should be relevant to cybersecurity, but this will be interpreted broadly. You are encouraged to find topics of interest to you; feel free to be creative in selecting a project topic. You’re welcome to pick a topic that is connected to your current research: for instance, if your primary research interest is in digital libraries, you would be welcome to do a term project on some aspect of security, cryptography, or privacy in digital libraries.

If you’re at a loss for a project topic, you might want to use the topics students picked in the previous years as another source of inspiration.

Group Formation Rules

  1. You should work in a small group of 4 students. If you have trouble finding project partners please use the term project discussion topic on the course discussion forum to find students seeking teammates.
  2. Each group could have no more than one graduate student.
  3. Graduate students, if they want, can do their term projects individually. However, they should do all group assignments in groups formed according to the above rules.

Evaluation of the Team Members

Contribution of each student to the group assignments and term project will be evaluated by the other team members via iPeer.

Types of Projects

Projects will be evaluated on the quality of the idea originality and the implementation of the idea. At the end of the semester, your group will write a report in the style of conference paper on your work.

Any project must be in either one of these three categories:

1. Design projects attempt to solve some interesting problem by proposing a design; implementing a prototype; and using the implementation as a basis for evaluating the proposed system architecture. In a good design project, the authors have:

    • attacked a significant problem
    • devised an interesting and practical solution
    • clearly described what they have and have not implemented
    • demonstrated the benefits of their solution
    • articulated the advances beyond previous work
    • drawn appropriate conclusions

2. Analysis projects might, for example, study some previously-proposed implementation technique, existing system, or class of systems; evaluate its security properties; find flaws, or strengths, in it; and provide new insight into how to build secure systems.

3. Implementation projects are meant for implementing security functionality/mechanism in a real open-source system managed through GitHub.

Instructions for Term Project Reports

Attention: Only first 10 pages of your term project report, plus references, will be read and marked. Make sure that all required sections of your report fit into the first 10 pages. References are not counted towards the 10 pages but still will be marked on completeness and consistency of the formatting. Appendices can be used for including supplementary materials, but won’t be used for marking. The content of the first 10 pages of the report has to be self-contained in the sense that no appendices need to be read in order to understand and mark it.

Attention: Submit your project report in PDF only. Reports in any other formats will be discarded. Format your report and references in using ACM Proceedings format (LaTeXMS Word) in single column. Feel free to use project report and template (in LaTeX or MS-Word). You need to modify the section headings and content to correspond to the type of your project, e.g., analysis, design, implementation. In case some of the instructions in the template conflict with the instructions on this page, please check with the teaching staff.

Grammar, Formatting, and English Language in the reports

Please make sure your term project reports have proper spelling, grammar, and overall readability. All UBC students are expected to have mastered technical English to the point where they can write a technical paper with only few minor grammatical errors, no spelling mistakes, and with reasonable flow and readability. For language, grammar, spelling, and formatting issues, points will be taken off from your term project report mark according to the following scheme:

  1. First 12 errors: 0.25% for each.
  2. Next 9 errors: 0.33% for each.
  3. Next 10 errors: 0.5% for each.
  4. Any additional errors: 1% for each.

The above scheme rewards carefully proofread papers and punishes sloppy writing. Note that grammatical errors include also punctuation marks. In the case of disagreement whether something is a grammatical error, The Bedford Handbook will be used as a reference.

Report Preparation Instructions Specific to Particular Types of Projects

Hints For Writing Your Project Report and Giving Your Talk at the End of the Course