CS2107: Introduction to Information and System Security (Taught by: Hugh Anderson)
I ended my internship on a Friday only to jump into special semester 2 for CS2107. This is a level 2000 breadth module that is rather popular during normal semester 2 with very high bid points over 2000. The last special semester module I took was CS2103 back in Year 1. I forgot how rushed squeezing a module into 5 weeks can be. However, with only one module, concentration is better. During normal semesters, I find that there are too many things to multiplex between (switching overhead).
I have nothing but praise for this module and the lecturer. Prof Hugh Anderson makes his lectures interesting over an already interesting topic (subjective). His lectures are well-structured, with a nice summary video at the start of each lecture (cue CS2107 wars and the peace-loving NUS-ians [because security is a perpetual war]). Many of the concepts that he teaches he demonstrates on his computer, showing how easy it really is to attack insecure systems. He does have a lot of interest in various programs and teaching tools which he will install on his computer; I have never seen a Mac with so many icons on the Dock. Now I know why the dock zooms up the icons as you roll over them. He uses simple lecture quizzes to help reinforce topics and generously gives out rewards (chocolate fish among other trinkets).
Contents consists of cryptographic ciphers both classical and modern in breadth, network security, computer security and various examples of current systems in use. There is some set mathematics involved but it should be a piece of cake for any student who has gone through CS1231. There is graded weekly homework which you hand in at the start of the tutorial session. There is also a term project which consists of a write-up on any security topic given by him or chosen by yourself. Mid-term is closed-book MCQ. Final exam is open-book short-answer/open-ended and there are past-year papers for practice.
This is the most interesting and fun breadth module that I have taken and I signed myself up for CS3235 – Computer Security.