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Jane Sinclair: ideas for projects

General interests: I'm interested in Formal Methods, Computer Security and Educational Technology.

I am also happy to discuss your ideas for project topics.

Ideas for 2012-2013

Fourth year group project

A security company has suggested the following possibility for a group project for which they would act as customer. The outline given here gives a general idea - any group interested should get in touch with me to discuss how this might be developed.

"We are getting more and more applicants and many are people we chat to while in uni and so wouldn't be looking to hire for some years. I think we could greatly benefit from a solution that lets us keep notes on applicants and our engagements with them. A sort of CRM for applicants. Positive aspects:
- sorely needed
- multi component, easily distributed (web app, UI, database, security)
- good experience in useful areas
The security angle would be paramount. We would want it developed following a secure methodology so students could learn how to do that and compare the different methodologies. As part of that methodology, source code should be audited and the application should be tested by themselves, but we will also do an assessment and feed that back to the students."

Third year undergraduate projects

Security challenges for "ethical hacking laboratory"

A resource is under development in the department to provide access to an environment which can be used for safe, contained exploration of security issues. One aspect of this is to develop challenges which can be used as part of a structured, educational (but fun!) environment. A project which introduced some interesting challenges (perhaps staged via some engaging scenarios) would provide a useful contribution.


Using the "hacking lab" in other ways

In addition to providing materials to contribute to the educational challenge environment, another use of the system would be as a safe place to work on a security project which you might not want to let loose on your own machine or the departments' network! Get in touch if you have any ideas you would like to discuss.


Security awareness

This is a project aimed at researching the effectiveness of security awareness schemes and the state of play in the university. The idea would be to devise a proposal for a new "security awareness" campaign based on the research from literature review and student/staff interview or questionnaire. A pilot implementation and evaluation would be the next step. This project would be suited to a CBS student and financial cost/benefit analysis is likely to be a contributing factor.


Extracting information for security analysis

The following suggestion for a useful project comes from a contact in a security firm (who would advise and act as customer). It would probably be suitable for a DM student. If you are interested in this topic please contact me to discuss further.
"We have need to extract certain types of information from large volumes of network traffic. The traffic is in the order of an average 10 MBps stream or exists as a series of large pcap files (approaching 1 Tb) so very very optimised reconstruction and analysis would be needed."


Logic interface for Alloy

Alloy is a "lightweight" formal method based around a model-finding tool. The project would involve an investigation of how front/back ends can be provided which can allow standard logic expressions to be evaluated and meaningful visual reports generated. This could be expanded to investigating interfaces for certain types of logic puzzle and building up a library of resources for educational purposes.


Reusable Learning Objects for Formal Methods

Reusable learning objects (RLOs) may be characterised in various ways (have a look on wikipedia for a start). A number of projects around the world provide repositories of learning objects. A good starting point for this project would be to discover and classify what is currently available in the area of formal methods. The project would aim to identify a simple topic (possibly related to CS242) to encapsulate as RLOs using appropriate educational techniques.


Some project titles from previous years

Investigating Link Recommendations in Social Networks.
The Application of Concept Inventories in Computer Science
Whitehat Hacking: an educational game
Interactive Entertainment: A Music Based Game
Synced Address Book
Melody Extraction From Digital Audio
A Truly Smart Phone Android Automated Daily Scheduler
RecipEasy - The Food Suggestion Software
The Digital City: Simulating Intelligently Handled Traffic Flow
Bluetooth Honeypot
Photographic Light Meter for Android Devices
Educational Software Aimed at Developing Countries
Recognising the Musical Style of MIDI Percussion
Java compiler in Python
Web Interface for Various Communication Protocols
My.DCS Department Resource
Student E-Commerce Application
Digital Cash
Secure on-line voting
Supporting the tablature system of music notation
The history, usage and implementation of public key certificates
Secure file storage system
Excavating the wp calculator
Online Course Planning Guide
Student information system
Group selection tool
Various games (poker, bridge) over the web
Genealogy with XML
Java teaching environment for children
Women in computing - various
Stock-control system
Information system for an investment bank
Digital culture and business models