Research Seminar

Course Description:

This course is offered for master students, especially in computer science, cyber security, and information and media technology. The course provides insights into the field of security and privacy in computer networks. The objective is an elaborated and active understanding of distributed vs. centralized communication security and privacy paradigms and their application to cooperative environments. The course creates links between the fundamental concepts and applied scenarios with references to ongoing research activities within the IT Security research group. Concrete topics and application scenarios can vary depending on the particular focus of the methods discussed. Typically, the topics include network and system security, anonymity, privacy enhancing techniques, digital forensics, computer networking, distributed systems, mobile security, web security, applied cryptography, and others.


Master students will get assigned a topic that is based on recent publications in one of the top conferences in the field (e.g., IEEE S&P, ACM CCS, NDSS, USENIX Security, PETS) and have to prepare a paper on the state of the art on their topic. In this time, we will have presentations on ongoing research of our group members as well as streaming of presentations from top conferences in the field with the follow-up internal discussion. Depending on the format, it is also possible that in the second phase, students will be asked to write a conference style review for a few papers of the others. These reviews will be presented and publicly discussed. Next, based on the reviews, students will have the possibility to improve their paper and have to prepare a presentation on their topic. Before publicly presenting it to the class, they have to make a test presentation by their supervisor. Finally, there will be a presentation within the class.

Time Table:

Friday15:30 - 17:00VG 1C, 2.24

Additional Information:

The duration of presentations is 45 minutes.

For paper, please use the following LaTeX template.
Paper length: 10 ACM double column pages excluding references, 12 pages in total; usage of LaTeX is mandatory

Questions to be addressed by the review:

  • State the problem that the paper tries to address and solve.
  • Briefly summarize the main contributions.
  • What are the strengths of the papers?
  • What are the weaknesses of the paper?
  • Is the paper well written? Easily understandable? What is the quality of the language? Is the paper well organized?
  • Is the paper complete? Does it contain all necessary parts (Abstract, introduction, main part, presentation of results / discussion, conclusion)? Do these parts serve their purpose?
  • Do the citations, references, and the references list comply with the usual standards?
  • Is the paper correct? Are there any questionable or unjustified statements?
  • Describe the quality of the figures (Resolution, style, font size, etc).
  • Discuss what you would have done differently if you had written the paper.
  • Try to suggest one or more interesting open problems on related topics.
  • Give an overall grade to the paper and motivate it.

Hints for presentations:

  • Give a clear and concrete problem definition you are interested in (please consider the diversity in our group when summarizing and motivating the problem).
  • Briefly motivate why the problem is important in general for the community AND why it is an interesting scientific problem.
  • Point out the challenges that have to be addressed in order to solve the problem.
  • Summarize what has been done so far, AND why state of the art does not solve all of the challenges.
  • Focus on paper's ideas how to tackle the challenges.
  • Provide a convincing evaluation that highlights distinctive characteristics of the approach and shows how it helps to solve the stated problem.
  • Sum it up and highlight unsolved issues. Try motivate your vision for the development of the field.

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