Research Focus Class on Privacy

Our Research Focus Classes (RFC) are a special kind of lecture: they are more interactive and research oriented than typical lectures. Students participating in an RFC should be aware that they are not only getting in touch with real research but also have to expect doing independent work.

Organization of the RFC

The RFCs are research-oriented courses following an interactive schema. To do so, each semester the COMSYS group chooses one general research topic in communication systems and gives a short introductory lecture about it (typically 4 - 6 lecture slots). Afterwards each participant chooses a sub-topic of current research he/she finds interesting, and also prepares one lecture on this topic. Note that the lectures should be highly interactive, involving intensive discussions, so you don't need to prepare a perfect slide set for a whole 90 minutes lecture of continuous presentation. The goal of this second phase is to give all participants some ideas in more details regarding interesting questions in the chosen research area. With the insights of the second phase, in a third phase each participant chooses a research project to dig a bit deeper. It could be in the same direction of the given lecture, or in a completely different one (if someone finds a more interesting topic during discussions). In this project one should do own research, which, depending on the topic, could consist of experiments, prototypes, analyses, .... Finally, the results should be presented to the other participants.


In WS 2013/14 the chosen topic is "Privacy".

We will begin with a general introduction then cover four distinct topics

  • Anonymous Communications
  • Data Privacy
  • Working with encrypted data
  • Privacy in Social Media

Preliminary Time Schedule

The concrete schedule will be fixed together with the participants. Preliminary setup:


  • Introductory lecture of COMSYS group: November 11th - December 13th
  • Student lectures: Beginning of January - end of February
  • Short presentation of chosen research project: beginning of March
  • Working on research project and presentation of results: till end of April



The course only is open for Master students. You should have preknowledge at least in the basics of data communication and an interest in doing independent research.


In case of questions, please contact Dirk Thi├čen.

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