IS 3957 Doctoral Seminar (Systems and Technology)

Information Assurance

Thursday 12:00 - 2:50 PM

Room: IS 501

James Joshi


Contact Info:
721, IS Building,



(Updated Sep 8)


Presentation Schedule

Reading List

Some Initial Project Ideas

Important Links

Security Track



Course Objective
The goal of the Doctoral Seminar is to familiarize doctoral students with research and critical assessment and enable them to practice skills required for Ph.D. dissertation. This includes understanding and evaluating literature, presenting technical material and gaining experience in selecting topics of interest and doing original technical work on it. This fall, the course will attempt to accomplish this through review of representative state of the art technical papers covering theoretical and practical issues related to various emerging IA issues, so as to familiarize them with emerging IA research challenges. While the key focus will be related to the trust, access control and intrusion/survivability management issues, other topics of interests to students will be accommodated. Some topics of interest include:
  • Formal models of security and privacy for distributed systems
  • Security issues in emerging systems (e.g., Grid, Peer-to-peer, mobile environments, Semantic Web)
  • Secure composition of Web Services/Service Oriented Architectures
  • Intrusion Management and Survivability of information systems


The grading scheme will be as follows:

Presentation of assigned papers: 35%
Paper review: 20%
Class participation: 10%
Final project: 40%

Typically, 3-4 papers will be assigned for presentation every week. Students not presenting will be required to review papers (typically one each week) and participate in discussion. Participation is based on the quality of the questions and discussions in class.

Each student will choose a project to address a feasible research problem of interest and try solving it. Projects may also include reproducing significant published results. A maximum number of two students can be involved in a project. Each student will write a research proposal and then implement it.

If you are having a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and the Office of Disability Resources and Services (DRS), 216 William Pitt Union (412-648-7890/412-383-7355) as early as possible in the term. DRS will verify your disability and determine reasonable accommodations for this course.