To do a student project in the DEDIS lab you will need to choose a suitable project topic, coordinate with one or more DEDIS lab advisors and potentially other students working on related projects, write a project report, and present the project several times both during and at the end of the semester.
Cybersecurity Masters Projects
Note: Cybersecurity Masters students should carefully consider themselves if projects will meet the requirements of their course, and must clearly indicate that they are in the Cybersecurity program when contacting the project advisor. In some cases, the advisor may be open to adapting the project to meet the requirements of your program, but you will need to propose these adaptations yourself. Thank you for your understanding.
The project report must be written in English using LaTeX. You can use the this template to help you get started. The report should be around 15 pages (including cover and references) and will be submitted by e-mail to your supervisor along with your presentation and relevant project files.
The relevant project files should be sent in a zip archive and include:
- Source code of your report (LaTeX, EPS, GIF, etc)
- Source code of your presentation (LaTeX, PPT, etc)
- Source code of your implementation or a link to the repository with the code if it is accessible.
The title page should include the following information:
- Name and affiliation of the student(s).
- Name of the supervisor.
- Name of the responsible (Prof. Bryan Ford).
- Title of your project.
- Type of project (Semester Project, Diploma Work, Graduate School Project, Internship).
- EPFL logo and lab name (DEDIS).
The content of the report should ideally cover the following topics:
- Introduction of the subject and the problem.
- Goals of the project and motivation.
- Corresponding background.
- Step-by-step description of your design/implementation/evaluation/analysis.
- Theoretical and practical limitations of the project and its implementation.
- Evaluation of the results and comparison with other approaches if applicable.
- Future work.
- Step-by-step guide for installation, including dependencies, and running of the final product.
You will give a presentation of 15 minutes (with 10 minutes for questions afterward). You may request your advisors help to organise a dry-run before presenting before Professor Ford. After your presentation, you should send the presentation materials to your advisor for our archives.
You will need to give several presentations both during and at the end of your project, explaining what you are doing in your project, why, how, and results of the project such as experimental evaluation. Here are some presentation tips that will help you communicate clearly, make a good impression, and ultimately get a good grade.
One of the most important general techniques is to iterate and get feedback through one or more dry-runs. If your supervisor doesn’t ask you, you should ask him or her!
- look at the audience (but not always at the same person), not at the screen
- present yourself with your name, your section and bachelor/master/phd and the lab you worked with
- don’t talk too fast, breathe, imagine yourself talking to the wall at the other side of the room to be loud enough
- make your thoughts follow the slides – point to the slides, to the part you’re talking about
- send your PDF of the presentation to the person responsible before the presentation
- turn off all notifications on your computer
- if you use an online presentation service, be sure to have a backup PDF
- remove screen-blanking and/or screen-locking
- have a story to tell, a motivation
- a simple solution is to have an overview with 5-7 bullets. you can repeat the overview every time you get to the next bullet
- the most difficult part is to chose what NOT to present – everything is important, but your time is limited. Chose wisely, throw away, simplify, lie (a little bit, anyway, and be ready to correct if you’re asked about it).
- the first slide needs to have: title, your name, lab, Professor’s name, supervisors’ names
- don’t stop with a “thank you” slide, but with a “conclusion” slide that allows the audience to reconnect to the different parts of your presentation
- get some images, figures, drawings in your presentation. Instead of having a slide with full-blown sentences, show a drawing or a figure with some annotation.
- put slide-numbers, so we can easily comment and tell you “go back to slide x”
- all text to be read should be no smaller than 1/8th of the slide height, else it’s unreadable.
- annotate the axes
- decide if you want to have a bar (for showing multiple values per x-cordinate) or a simple line
- write what they show on the slide
- don’t hesitate during the presentation to point out parts of a figure
- what are the parameters (network, CPU, nodes, …)
- what did you simplify?
- how can you interpret the results?
- prepare the demo
- run it twice before the presentation
- describe before the demo what you will be showing
- show the result of the demo on the screen, not on your smartphone!
- formulas without explanation of what the variables are
- jumping back and forth between slides
- ignoring your spellchecker
Thanks to Linus Gasser for this list of tips.