CS7880: Rigorous Approaches to Data Privacy





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Project Requirements

The course will require you to do a research project. The project can take the form of new differentially private algorithms, with either theoretical or empirical analysis; systematic experiments with existing differentially private algoritms or attacks on privacy; a survey synthesizing multiple results in a novel way; an application of differential privacy to a new area; an application of a new area to differential privacy; and probably several other forms I haven't yet conceived of. Topics for the project are very open-ended, and I strongly encourage you to find something that intersects with your research.

Checkpoint 1: List of Project Ideas

You will submit a short list of two or three potential project topics that interest you. All I am expecting is one or two sentences per topic saying what the topic is, what format the project would take, and anything else you would like to elaborate on. For an example that is both really stupid, and does not involve DP (so that no one is tempted to use it): "Improved MapReduce algorithms using mappers sharing quantum entanglement. The project will involve building my own quantum computer, demonstrating that it achieves genuine quantum tunnelling, and evaluating its performance empirically."

You are not required to actually do your project on any of the topics you submit. This is just to get you thinking about the project, and give me a chance to give feedback and pointers about ideas you are excited about.

How should you think of a topic? Some suggestions:

Checkpoint 2: Project Proposal

You will submit a 1-2 page project proposal. The proposal should contain the following: You do not need to have specific sections of the proposal addressing these questions. You can organize the proposal any way you like, as long as it answers each of these questions.

Final Project Report

Your final report must contain the following components: You may format your report any way you like, as long as it is reasonably easy to read. Because projects will vary in density, depending on the relative amounts of text, math, and charts, there is no absolute page limit. As a general guide, I am picturing something about half the length of a typical conference submission, so about 5 pages of two-column ACM format, or about 10 pages of "standard" format (one column, single spaced, 11 pt font, 1" margins). If you have lengthy calculations or charts, you may turn in a longer report, but may want to consider putting this material in an appendix. If your contributions can be explained very concisely, then you can turn in less. As always, use your judgment, try to be concise, and ask me questions if you are unsure.

Final Project Presentation

There are only a few specific rules for formatting the presentation, mostly I just have some advice for how to give a good presentation. Feel free to discuss with me as you are preparing your presentations.