Meta-Seminar Seminar assignment course - Winter Term 2018/2019


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CISPA Meta-Seminar

The registration for all CISPA seminars will open at the latest at the end of August.

This virtual seminar is used to distribute students among the available actual seminars. To register for any of the other seminars that are offered by CISPA, you have to you register for this meta seminar. You can select up to three seminars you would like to take, and will then be automatically assigned to one of them on October 16th. Please note that this assignment is only optimal if you do not drop the assigned seminar.

Please note the following:

  • We aim to provide a fair mapping that respects your wishes, but at the same time also respects the preferences of your fellow students.

  • Experience has shown that particular seminars are more popular than others, yet these seminars cannot fit all students. We thus encourage students to select their preferences for all available seminars, which eases the process to assign students that do not fit the overly popular seminars to another, less crowded one. Each student must therefore give at least two neutral (“OK”) or positive (“Good”) preferences.

  • If you are really dedicated to one particular seminar, and you do not want any other seminar, please select the "No seminar" as second positive option. However, this may ultimately lead to the situation that you are not assigned to any seminar. Also, choosing "No seminar" as second option does not increase your chances of getting your first choice. In fact, it increases the chances that you will be assigned to any CISPA seminar.

The assignment will be automatically performed by a CMS-internal constraint solver on October, 1h, 2018. You will be added to the respective seminars automatically and be notified about this shortly thereafter. 

If you also applied for a non-CISPA seminar (e.g., with other chairs in the CS department) and want to take their seminar instead of the one you have been assigned by us, please let us know ASAP, but latest by Friday, October 19th. Missing to do so may harm other students that want to take the seminar slot that you occupy and do not use. Naturally, neither your fellow students nor we will appreciate this.


This term's seminars


Data Privacy (Zhang)

Description: The development of ICT has resulted in an unprecedented amount of data available. The big data, on one hand, bring many benefits to the society, on the other hand, raises serious concerns about people's privacy. In this seminar, students will learn, summarize, and present state-of-the-art scientific papers in data privacy. Topics include social network privacy, machine learning privacy, and biomedical data privacy. The seminar is organized as a reading group. Every week, one student will present her/his assigned papers on a certain topic, followed by a group discussion. All students are required to read the papers carefully and prepare a list of questions for discussion. Each student will write a summary of her/his assigned papers providing a general overview of the field.

Requirements: Students are required to have basic knowledge of data mining and machine learning.

Hands-On Protocol Verification (Künnemann)

Description: This seminar is a project-driven seminar on the practical use of protocol verification tools. Protocol design is still largely driven by engineers striving for functionality, and academics pointing out design flaws years later. In the meantime, protocol verification tools have become quite good, many of them are automatic or require little interaction.  The goal of this seminar is to give you an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, how they are used, and learn how to model protocols. For this reason, the focus on this seminar is on a modelling and verification project. We start with two lectures introducing the theoretical background. Later, each student will be assigned a tool, which he or she will present to the others in 15min talks.  Each student will choose a project (DNSSEC? Firefox'es synchronisation mechanism? Something with bitcoin? Your choice!), which we will discuss as a group in bi-weekly meetings. The seminar will conclude with a final talk presenting the results.

Requirements: Students must have basic knowledge about cryptography and protocols (e.g., through Foundations of Cybersecurity I and II) and basic knowledge about either: verification, computational logic or concurrent systems (e.g., through the respective lectures).


Joint Advances in Web Security (Stock)

Description: In this seminar, students will learn to present, discuss, and summarize papers in different areas of Web security. The seminar is taught as a combination of a reading group with weekly meetings and a regular seminar, where you have to write a seminar paper. Specifically, each student will get a single topic assigned to them, consisting of a lead paper and at least two additional papers. For the weekly meetings, the topic of the lead paper is presented by the assigned student, but all students are required to have read the lead paper and submit questions/points for discussions before the meeting. Moreover, each student will write a seminar paper on the topic assigned to them, which covers at least the three papers given for the topic.

Requirements: Since this a specialized seminar on recent topics in Web Security, students must be knowledgeable in Web Security (e.g., by having taken the Web Security advanced lecture).

Selected Topics in Formal Methods for Security (Jacobs)

Description: Engineering of secure systems is an arms race between attackers and system designers. In recent years, hardly a week goes by without the discovery of a new attack, and system designers scrambling to plug the holes. Formal methods are a means to break out of this arms race by ruling out entire classes of attacks once and for all. In this seminar, students will learn to present, discuss, and summarize papers in different areas of formal methods for security. The seminar is split into two parts. The first part will take the form of reading sessions, where we lay the foundations of the topic. For the second part, each student is assigned a recent paper from the research area. Students will present their paper and will write a seminar paper on the topic assigned to them, taking into account connections to the topics discussed in the seminar.

Requirements: Students should have basic knowledge about cyber security. Knowledge about formal methods (e.g., Verification or Automated Reasoning) is beneficial, but will not be expected.

Usable Security (Krombholz)

Description: The goal of this seminar is to identify, understand, and (partially) solve human-centric security research questions. The seminar is divided in three different parts: We start with an overview on research methods and grand research challenges in usable security. Then, each student choses a research paper and prepares a small presentation on the paper with an emphasis on research questions and methodology. Then, each student chooses an interdisciplinary research challenge, e.g., authentication, usable crypto APIs and protocols (e.g., Bitcoin, TLS, NaCl), privacy in IoT, usable security for admins and developers, or any other topic where human factors contribute to security vulnerabilities. For the remainder of the semester, each students conducts a mini-research project, i.e., identifies a major research question, designs a user study or tool to address the research question, and finally conducts a small pilot study to show that the methodology is actually feasible to answer the research question. The seminar will conclude with a final talk presenting the results.

Requirements: General understanding Computer Security (e.g., through having attended Foundations of Cybersecurity I and II or Security), basic knowledge in statistics, interest in quantitative and qualitative research methods and working with human subjects

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