Compsci 182S, Spring 2006, Projects

The final project is worth 25% of your grade in this course.

The project should be a roughly 20 page/per person research paper. You can work in groups of as many as three. Larger groups are not possible without extensive and extremely persuasive lobbying. Do you really want to manage an 80-page paper spread among four people? Papers with a technical/programming component are welcome, but they are not required. A substantial technical component can count for up to half of the "page" requirement, so a 3-person tem with a substantial programming component would be accompanied by a 30 page paper (not including programming documentation.) The page-length specification is a guideline, not a requirement.

The guidelines for projects from MIT course 6.805 are useful for us to, they state (in part, see their web page for details)

The final paper should be a substantial piece of work, not only in length, but also in quality. However, we'll judge the papers by their quality, not their length.

We expect to see high-quality work with good writing, thoughtful commentary, and clear themes.

We are certainly interested in your opinions and ideas. But you should treat this paper as research and analysis, not just venting or making unsubstantiated assertions. On the other hand, we do expect you to have opinions and a point of view on your topic -- not to just write a book report or a summary of what other people have said.

Your paper should have a thesis, i.e., an idea, claim, or argument that you are putting forward and defending in the paper. We expect that your paper will start out by stating the thesis in the first one or two paragraphs, and that you will proceed to support the thesis in a focused and coherent way.


Guidelines For Writing

These links also come from the MIT 6.805 pages:

Potential Topics

These topics are not at all definitive, they are meant to provide a guide to interesting topics we may not have addressed at this point.

Any topics can be proposed

  1. Privacy and Facebook In The MIT course 6.805 students wrote a paper Facebook: Threats to Privacy. Other aspects of facebook could be examined, or you could use the MIT paper as a starting point and develop a new avenue of research.

  2. Globalization and the Internet

    You could look at WIPO, our patent office and policy and examine differences. You could look at the issues surrounding the recent kerfuffle about Google and censorship in China. Other aspects of Globalization are possible.

  3. Digital Watermarking and Anonymity

    Survey digital watermarking, web-based copyright-infringment protection based on watermarking. Survey anonymity tools. Perhaps using Infranet as a starting point, analyze censorship, anonymity tools, and steganography. Deploy Infranet and/or analyze it's strengths and weaknesses.

  4. TOR: Onion Routing for Anonymity

    See the TOR site for details. TOR is based on onion routing and allows for anonymous Internet communication. There's also an effort to make TOR usable, e.g., by developing front-ends for it.

  5. Digital Rights Management

    Architectures and Languages for DRM, e.g., XrML, ODRL, OASIS, See XML Coverpages as one jumping-off, starting-off point.

  6. Anonymity and Anonymity tools.

    For example, see the project from 2001, MIT 6.805.

    The MIT paper is a good overview and survey paper, but the authors didn't use (or build) the tools they discuss. It's also certainly dated at this point.

  7. P2P, Bittorrent, Copyright, Internet, Performance ..

    Peer-to-Peer systems are everywhere, and Bittorrent and related systems account for a large percentage of all Internet-traffic (according to some). How easy is Bittorrent to use? Can you envision a Why Johnny Can't Download? paper? Are p2p systems worth analyzing or discussing?

  8. Phishing and other Social Attacks

  9. SPAM, SPAM and more SPAM What is it, what's the cost, how do we fix it.

Examples of Papers