Welcome to COMP6613B: Hot Topics in Privacy Enhancing Technologies!

This class meets on Monday (1:30PM-2:50PM) and Friday (9:00AM-10:20AM) in Room 2406 (Lift 17-18).

Office hours are 3PM-5PM Monday to Thursday. Please feel free to ask me about anything related to the course. Write to me at taow@cse.ust.hk if you have any questions or if you prefer another meeting time.

Did you remember to:

Class Format

In the first three classes, I will talk about the structure of the course and present four introductory papers. Starting on September 12 (Monday), each class will consist of two paper presentations made by students. Each presentation will last for 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion on the paper. There will be a final project at the end of the term, for which you are expected to conduct and present original research on privacy enhancing technologies.


There are four components to your grade:

  1. Presentations: 20%
  2. Paper review: 20%
  3. Attendance: 10%
  4. Project: 50%


You are expected to present two papers in this class. Each presentation should last for 20 minutes, after which we will have a 20-minute discussion. Presentations must be given with slides. Presentations will be graded on the following criteria:

You should present the paper as if you were presenting your own work at a conference. You should prepare at least one slide of possible discussion questions for the class, and put it at the end of your presentation.

You are encouraged to create your own diagrams and figures to present the paper. You may use the figures in the paper. Do not copy-paste text from the paper.

You will be timed and penalized for going significantly (more than 3 minutes) over time or under time.

You will receive a bonus of 2% to your presentation grade if you present in September.

In a normal conference presentation, you would have to reserve some time to take questions at the end of your presentation. However, you should not do so for this course. Questions will be directed to and discussed by the class.

You may choose to make 1 extra presentation, up to a total of three. In this case, only your top two presentation grades will count towards your final grade.

Paper review

You must review at least 1 paper every week for every class, for a total of 10 papers. Your paper review is due at 11:59 pm, Sunday. You may do a review on any of the four papers in that week. If there are only two papers in the week, you will have to review one of the two.

Please visit the "Quizzes" section to do a paper review.

Be original in your paper review; do not copy-paste text from the paper. If your paper review meets the basic requirements, I will give you a full mark for the review. If it does not meet the requirements, you will be asked to fix your review, or receive no marks.

Your first paper review is due on at 11:59 pm, September 11 (Sunday). Note that there is only one choice for the first paper review; I want to make sure everyone reads that paper.


Your attendance for each class counts only if you participate in the discussion. I will record your attendance when you join the discussion. Attendance will start on September 19th. If you are unable to attend a class, please write an e-mail to me before the class.


You will conduct original research on privacy enhancing technologies and present your work in this class. You may form groups of up to 3 students, who will receive a collective grade.

Your project grade consists of three components:

  1. Project Proposal (15%)
  2. Presentation (10%)
  3. Paper (25%)

You will first write a project proposal, for 15% of your grade. Propose a title for your project, list the group members, and answer the following questions:

As long as your project proposal is satisfactory, you will receive full marks for your proposal. Your project proposal is due at 11:59 pm, November 3 (Thursday).

On either November 25 or November 28, you will present your project to the class. Your project presentation will count for 10% of your grade, and will be judged with the same rubric as your paper presentations. Therefore, your presentation is about new and exciting research.

You will write a paper on your research for 25% of your grade. The paper must be at least seven pages long using the given template files. Your paper can contain new results that were not shown in your presentation. You may use LaTeX or Word. The rubric for your paper is as follows:

Your final paper submission is due at 11:59 pm, December 15 (Thursday).


Nothing has been planned for November 21. If we have to cancel any class, everything left will be moved forward towards November 21 (I'll update the schedule).