Xiao Qin's Teaching

Auburn University

COMP7370 Advanced Computer and Network Security



Course Information

10:00 am - 12:15 pm Tuesday and Thursday RAMSY 201

Office Hour: Tueaday/Thursday 8:00am-9:00am.
Office: 2101E Shelby Center

In this graduate class, students are expected to understand and contribute to research trends in the arena of computer and network security. To achieve this goal, we will address advanced topics including, but not limited to, cryptography, design principles, access control, security policies, key management, assurance, malicious logic, vulnerability analysis, network security. This course will be research intensive, aiming at deriving practical and achievable ground rules for secured computer and networked systems. Each student is expected to do a project including a written report and an in-class presentation on a topic to be arranged with the instructor. You will be expected to collaborate with other students toward the completion of the research project related to computer and network security.


COMP 6370 Computer and Network Security or consent of instructor..

Course Objectives

Students who have completed this course should be capable of doing the following:

    (1) Understand fundamental issues in computer and network security;

    (2) Understand reasons for policies, settings, and configurations in the practicum.

    (3) Improve technical writing and oral presentation skills.


 There are no texts for this course. Handouts, book chapters, and papers will be used as supplement course material. The course material will be posted online. 


These topics may change.


Exams: Midterm Exam, Final Exam
Exams will be closed book, closed notes. Questions will be derived from lectures, material taught only in class, and from assignments. Question format will be mixed.

Short Homeworks and Activities: 2-3 homeworks
These activities will be take-home in nature and designed to reinforce concepts taught in class. An electronic copy must be submitted through the BLACKBOARD system. Generally, these assignments are designed to be low-risk in the sense that they are designed to assess thinking and effort, rather than to strictly punish errors.

Individual Research Projects: 1-2 Lab Assignments
There will be one to two laboratory assignments. The lab assignment solutions will be submitted in C, C++, or java code. All projects should be made to compile under a compiler on Linux. You may use any development platform or compiler, but your projects will be graded ONLY on compilers running on Linux. If your project does not work in that environment, you will NOT get credit. Always test it yourself in the lab (shop 3)!

Individual Projects will be graded as follows (The criteria may change):
Analysis, Design, and Testing Documents: 30%
Adhering to coding style: 10%
Program meets specifications and implements key features correctly: 60%

Getting Help

Assignments may prove challenging and time-consuming. You are always welcome to bring questions concerning labs to the class, as well as to office hours. A good strategy is to always start early on projects, so that if you run into difficulties, you can get help as soon as possible. I will do my best to answer e-mails concerning labs within 48 hours of receiving them; however, I do not guarantee that I will always have time to debug code via e-mail (I prefer not to do so). For time-consuming problems dealing with code, office hours are always preferable. I will not help debug code via e-mail on the day an assignment is due. The Blackboard Discussion Board is a great way to ask questions so that everyone benefits from the answer to your question!

Office Hours

Dr. Qin will have office hours on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:00-9:00am in his office (3101E Shelby Center). To get the most out of office hours, it is recommended to send an email in advance.


Students are expected to read assigned papers before each lecture. Typically, the course starts off relatively easy and gets harder as time goes on.


Class attendance is mandatory. This is a graduate class; therefore, students will have to actively participate in class. It is believed that if you miss many classes (more than 6), there is a strong likelihood that you will not pass the class. Please notify me in advance if you will attend conferences, research meetings, or the like..


Mid-term 20%
Final Exam 20%
Homework Assignments 15%
Project Presentation 15%
Project Assignments 30%

A [90~100], B [80~90], C [70~80], D [60~70], F [0~60]

Project Due Dates

Projects will be submitted through Blackboard. Projects will always be due at 11:55 pm on the due date. Late assignments will receive a grade of zero (0) Deadlines will be made as generous as possible to a priori take into account illness, other courses, Acts of God, and nearly all conceivable excuses. If you have a documented illness preventing you from completing your assignment, you may submit all of your partial work and request an extension. This extension is not automatic.

Academic Integrity:

Students will be expected to understand and follow Academic Honesty policies in place by the university. All work is to be done individually. Students should NOT share any project code or even detailed algorithm information with each other. Your programming code is exclusive to you.

Special Accommodations

A student in need of special accommodations must bring that need to my attention within the first two weeks of class. The need must be properly documented.

Study Hints

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