This class is a graduate-level paper-reading seminar. Students are expected to present, discuss and review papers weekly. Students are also expected to meet regularly with the professor to discuss progress in project meetings.

Class Requirements

Students will be expected to have taken

  • Cryptography
  • Operating or Distributed Systems

(Or any equivalent classes)


  • Participation 10%
  • Paper Reviews 20%
  • Presentation(s) 20%
  • Research Project 50%

Paper Reviews

Each lecture has one mandatory paper. Reviews should be submitted online by 8pm the night before the class. Please submit reviews by email with the subject header: CS294 Review Name.

Reviews should be formatted as follows:

  • What is the problem and why is it important?
  • What are the core techniques used in the paper?
  • What are the paper’s main limitations?
  • What are potential extensions of the work?


Each student will sign up to present a topic in class (or multiple, depending on class size). Presenting students are expected to read/present both the mandatory and the optional material. Presentations should provide background to the topic, and present papers in a coherent fashion (with respect to each other).

Class participation

Students are expected to read and review papers prior to coming to class. During class, students are expected to ask questions and actively engage with the material.


Each student will (in groups of 2 or 3) submit a research proposal based on a careful literature survery on a topic related to the class. Students are allowed to use their own research as a project for this class if the topics align.

  • Literature Review: Students should submit a 5-10 page literature review (Latex, two-column following the Usenix style guide) on a privacy-preserving related topic of their choice.
  • Project Proposal: Students should submit a 1-2 page project proposal (Latex, two-column following the Usenix style guide). The proposal should include a short summary of 1) why this is an important problem 2) what are the main shortcomings of existing solutions 3) what is the proposal and key innovation 4) what are the main challenges 5) what are the expected gains.
  • Project Submission: Students should submit a 10 page “paper” (Latex, two-column following the Usenix style guide) in the form of a conference paper.
  • Project Presentations: Students will give a presentation on their project (time TBD based on number of groups).