Assignments and Evaluation

Common Components

All students will be graded by the following components
Component Weight Deadline Submission Details
Class Participation 10% n/a In class Students are expected to come to class prepared to participate. Students will complete peer evaluations of presentations.
Topic Presentation Selection n/a Feb 24th Email instructor Groups of 2-4 will propose a topic in cybersecurity to prepare a presentation. Please send an email to the instructor by Feb 24th detailing
  • Names of all group members
  • An approx. 1 paragraph description of your topic
  • Any relevant links/references
Topic Presentation 10% See lecture schedule In class Each group will give a 15 minute presentation and 5 minute discussion/Q+A on a topic in cybersecurity. Presentations will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Technical content. Did the topic contain an adequate degree of technical content (e.g., code, data, equations, graphs, charts, etc)
  • Significance. Was the real-world impact conveyed?
  • Delivery. Was the presentation interesting/engaging? Were the slides
Assignment 1 15% Feb 17 Extended: Feb 24 OWL Assignment 1 Instructions
Assignment 2 15% March 17 March 31 OWL Assignment 2 Instructions


Course Project Component (MESc. and Ph.D.)

Students in a thesis-based program (M.E.Sc. or Ph.D.) will complete a course project. M.Eng students may opt to complete a project instead of a final exam with permission from the course instructor.
Component Weight Deadline Submission Details
Project Proposal 10% March 17th Submit a PDF in OWL Each group of 1-3 students will work on a project in which they will  undertake novel research in security and privacy. The project should have a hands-on component involving either running, writing, or analyzing code, or generating, collecting or analyzing data. Here are a few project categories to get you thinking.

The proposal should consist of 2-3 pages and should include:

  • a description of the topic area with a brief background
  • the type of project planned
  • an outline of your goals/deliverables
  • any supporting references (properly formatted and cited)
Note: M.Eng. students may only complete the project with special permission. Permission will be granted at the instructor's discretion following the submission of a proposal. Proposals will be assessed for topic relevance, technical depth, and for having some component of novel research (e.g., not just running a program).

Project Presentation 10% See Lecture Schedule In class For this component, you/your group will give a 8 minute presentation telling us about your project topic and what you plan to do. The goal of the project presentation is to present what you plan to do. You do not need to present final results, but any preliminary results would be a bonus. The presentation will be graded across four categories:
  1. Communication effectiveness : organization and use of slides, emphasis on key points, fits within allotted time, etc.
  2. Technical background: the speaker provides some technical background on the topic they are planning to work on.
  3. Articulate Project Motivation/Goals: the speaker explains precisely what the project is about, what they chose that particular topic, and what they're hoping to learn from it.
  4. Articulate Project Deliverables: The presenter clearly explains what results they hope to obtain (and may optionally presents partial results). If the project is a group effort, then the presenters must clearly articulate the division of tasks/labour.
Project Report 30% April 18th Submit a .zip in OWL containing a PDF of the report and any other code/supplimentary material Deliverable. Each group will submit a conference quality report of more than 12 pages (excluding bibliography and any appendices). The report should include the following:
  1. Title/author
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Description of your contribution (e.g., an exploit, experiment, program, etc.)
  5. Background and literature review
  6. Results/Findings
  7. Discussion
  8. Future work and conclusion
  9. References
  10. Appendix (e.g., source code, etc.)
The report must be formatted using either the ACM or IEEE Transactions templates. Marks will be deducted for improper/ad hoc formatting. The goal here is to give you experience writing peer-reviewed research papers.

Question: What does a "conference quality report" look like?
Answer: To see examples of conference quality formating and content, consult any of the papers from the USENIX Security symposium or ACM Computer and Communications Security (CCS) conference.



Exam Component (M.Eng)

Students in a course-based program (M.Eng) will write a final exam.
Component Weight Date Location
Final Exam 50% April 7th In Class