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CS G256 Home Page - Summer 2004

General Information

Catalog description // Communication // Grading // Collaboration // Class meetings // Staff //

Catalog description

Security, Privacy and Usability
Preq: CSG112

Usability and security are widely seen as two antagonistic design goals for complex computer systems. This course challenges convention wisdom and encourages students to discover ways that security, privacy and usability can be made synergistic in system design.

Topic include computer forensics, network forensics, user interface design, backups, logging, economic factors affecting adoption of security technology, trust management and related public policy. Case studies such as PGP, S/MIME, SSL will be used. Basic cryptography and hash function will be introduced as needed. Coursework includes analysis of papers, problem sets, and a substantial term project.


For announcements and assignments, the Web is our authoritative form of communication. Students are expected to check the CS G256 home page for both news and assignments at least once a week. If you hear a rumor, check it there. If you miss an announcement, it should be on the home page.

Grading Policy

Grades in CS G256 are based on three components: class participation, homework, quizzes, and a final project. They are weighted as follows:

Final Project30%
Quiz #115%
Quiz #215%
Class Participation15%

The Final Project is the largest contribution to your grade. This project is a significant project involving original work that examines some aspect of security discussed in the course. Final projects will be done in teams of two or three students. Suggested final projects will be made available on the course website.

There will be two quizzes in this course, each of which will take place during a class and will cover work to date. There is no final exam.

As this is a graduate class, we will be reading and discussing research papers. As such, Class Participation is an important part of the experience. Your grade for class participation will include your contributions on the class website, your attendance, and your preparation.

Note: (1) You must hand in a final project to pass CS G256. If you don't hand it in, you will receive an F for the subject as a whole. (2) If you don't regularly attend class, you will receive an F for the class participation and homework grade, even if you have faithfully handed in the assignments.


It is recommended that you discuss the readings and assignments with your classmates. However, you are expected that the work that you submit is your own. Help from others and articles that you consult in the preparation of your assignments and final project should be appropriately referenced in a consistent manner. You may not collaborate on the quizzes.

Class meetings

Lectures will be held on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00pm - 7:30pm in Caseroom 270 of Dodge Hall..


Simson L. Garfinkel
Office Hours will be announced

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