Proseminar Assignment Summer 2021

The central registration for all computer science proseminars will open on March 13.

This system is used to distribute students among the available proseminars. To register for any of the other proseminars that are offered by the computer science department, you have to register here on April 5, 23:59 CET. You can select which proseminar you would like to take, and will then be automatically assigned to one of them until April 12.

Please note the following:

  • We aim to provide a fair mapping that respects your wishes, but at the same time also respects the preferences of your fellow students.
  • Experience has shown that particular proseminars are more popular than others, yet these proseminars cannot fit all students. We thus encourage students to select their preferences for all available proseminars, which eases the process to assign students that do not fit the overly popular proseminars to another, less crowded one. Each student must therefore select at least three proseminars (with priority from "High" to "Low").
  • If you urgently need to be assigned to a proseminar in the upcoming semester, choose at least five proseminars (with priority from "High" to "Low"). We will then guarantee that you will be assigned to a proseminar (yet not necessarily one of your choice).
  • If you are really dedicated to one particular proseminar, and you do not want any other proseminar, please select the "No proseminar" as second and third positive option. However, this may ultimately lead to the situation that you are not assigned to any proseminar. Also, choosing "No seminar" as second/third option does not increase your chances of getting your first choice.

The assignment will be automatically performed by a constraint solver on April 12. You will be added to the respective proseminars automatically and be notified about this shortly thereafter. Please note that the assignment cannot be optimal for all students if you drop the assigned proseminar, i.e., make only serious choices to avoid penalty to others.


Berechenbarkeits- und Komplexitätstheorie by Markus Bläser

In dem Proseminar behandeln wir weiterführende Themen aus der Berechenbarkeits- und Komplexitätstheorie. Dieses Proseminar baut auf Resultaten aus der Vorlesung "Grundzüge der Theoretischen Informatik" auf.

Das Proseminar findet als Blockveranstaltung in den Sommrsemesterferien statt. Dauer ca. 1 Woche. Die genaue Zeit wird im ersten Treffen in Abstimmung mit den Teilnehmern festgelegt.


Requirements: Grundzüge der Theoretischen Informatik

Places: 12

Decision Procedures for Verification and Synthesis by Rayna Dimitrova

Decision procedures for logical theories (these are algorithms that for a certain type of logical formulas provide an answer to the question whether a given formula can be satisfied or not) are the backbone of state-of-the-art methods and tools for software and hardware verification, program synthesis, automatic bug finding, and compiler optimization. In this proseminar we will study decision procedures for different logical theories that are commonly used in the context of program verification and synthesis, and how they are applied to the design, analysis, and construction of software.

Presentations: A key objective of the proseminar is for students to learn how to give a scientific presentation. Each student will give two presentations on the topic that they have been assigned (based on provided references that will be research papers or book chapters).
* The first presentation is for practice (and is not graded), and after it the fellow students and the instructor will provide feedback on the quality of the presentation and suggestions about what can be improved.
* The second presentation (which will be graded) will be on the same or a closely related topic but based on a different reference.

Feedback: All students are expected to participate actively in the discussions, and will be required to provide feedback for each of the practice presentations.

Summary: At the end of the semester each student will submit a short summary of the topic that they have presented.

Attendance: Participation in all meetings is mandatory (exceptions require an official document, such as a doctor's certificate).

Logistics: The kick-off meeting will take place during the first week of lectures. The proseminar will be held remotely via Zoom. The presentations and the discussions will be in English.

Requirements: Participants are expected to have strong interest in formal logic, and to be able to understand mathematical notation. Knowledge about automated reasoning is beneficial.

Places: 12

Introduction to Digital and Privacy-Preserving Signatures by Lucjan Hanzlik

Digital signatures are a basic cryptographic building block that ensures authenticity
(who signed) and integrity (what is signed) of messages.
The goal of this proseminar is to improve the presentation skills of students and at the
same time learn about digital signatures and schemes that relax the above properties to increase
the privacy of signers. We will discuss seminal research papers introducing among others: ring signatures, group signatures, and blind signatures.

Each week two students will present their assigned paper, followed by a group discussion about the
presentation and the paper (it is highly encouraged that all students have read the paper).
After the first round, there will be a second round where students will present their
improved presentation and only the second round will be graded.

The kick-off meeting will be during the first week of lectures. The proseminar will
be held in English and remotely via Zoom.

Requirements: A basic understanding of cryptographic primitives such as encryption, signatures, and hash functions is required.

Places: 12

Naturinspirierte Optimierung by Joachim Weickert, Kristina Schaefer, Karl Schrader

In Millionen von Jahren haben sich in der Natur die unterschiedlichsten Überlebensstrategien herausgebildet. Viele dieser Strategien basieren auf einem einfachen Grundgedanken, erlauben aber dennoch die Bewältigung komplexer Probleme und Aufgabenstellungen.
In diesem Proseminar werden wir untersuchen, wie sich genetische Algorithmen und Verfahren, die auf Schwarmverhalten beruhen, im Kontext von Optimierungsproblemen nutzen lassen.

Webseite des Proseminars:

Requirements: Das Proseminar richtet sich an Studierende der Mathematik und Informatik mit Mathematikkenntnissen im Umfang von mindestens 2-3 Semestern.

Places: 11

Privacy by Design by Christoph Sorge

The term "privacy by design" (or "data protection by design") implies that the privacy of individuals has to be considered in the design of IT systems. The concecpt is very broad, as it can apply to databases, communication systems, and numerous applications. The proseminar deals with privacy-enhancing solutions in various application domains; it also looks at privacy notions in different fields. Examples of proseminar topics:
* Onion routing and hidden services
* Privacy aspects of electronic identity cards
* Privacy notions in communication systems
* Law-compliant anonymization in databases

Places: 10

(p)SADWeb: (Pro)Seminar on Attacks & Defense on the Web by Giancarlo Pellegrino, Ben Stock, Cristian Staicu, Dolier Francis Some

(P)SADWeb provides students an overview over recent papers in the broader area of Web security. As the primary purpose of a proseminar is to familiarize yourself with a topic and learn presentation skills, the seminar will feature two presentations from each student.

In the first half of the semester, we will have presentations of two topics each week. After each presentation, the fellow students and lecturers will provide feedback on how to improve the presentation. This general feedback must then be taken into account for the second half of the semester, where again each student will do the second presentation. To not bore the audience, though, this paper will be different from the previously presented one.

The first presentations will count towards 30% of the overall grade, the second presentation will count towards 70% of the overall grade. Attendance in the proseminar meetings is mandatory. At most one session can be skipped, after that you need to bring a doctor’s note to excuse your absence. In addition, submitting feedback to each talk is mandatory, where also at most the talks on one date may be missing (which would naturally occur if you skip one session).

Important: the time for the proseminar is fixed for Wednesday 2-4pm. If you have conflicting courses, please do not bid on the proseminar. The kickoff will be on April 14. The first presentations will start on April 28.

Places: 13

Seminal Papers in Cryptography by Jacqueline Brendel & Cas Cremers

In this proseminar we study a selection of seminal research works in cryptography—starting with the invention of public-key cryptography in the 1970s and making our way towards the present. We discuss the novelty of these research results when they were first published as well as how they have shaped our understanding of modern cryptography.

Each week one student presents their assigned paper, followed by a group discussion (it is highly encouraged that all students have read the paper).

Logistics: The seminar will be held remotely via Zoom. Note that the talks and the ensuing discussion *must* be in English.

The kick-off meeting (where we fix the weekly time slot and assign the topics) will be during the first week of lectures. Details follow as soon as possible.

The seminar is organised by Jacqueline Brendel and Cas Cremers.

Requirements: A basic understanding of cryptographic primitives such as encryption, signatures, and hash functions is required.

Places: 12

Software Reliability by Bernd Finkbeiner

Software is used in more and more applications where errors seriously affect the safety and/or security of the system. How can we ensure that the programs work as intended? In this proseminar, we will study a broad spectrum of techniques that increase the quality of software through the use of formal methods. We will discuss and compare formal software models, process algebras, specification techniques, and techniques for automated testing and automatic verification.

The Proseminar is designed to teach how to give a scientific presentation. You read up on a topic, summarize it, and present your findings to the other participants. Literature is only available in English, and we encourage presentations in English. Nevertheless, German is allowed, too.

Requirements: Programmierung 1

Places: 13

Systems Benchmarking by Sven Apel, Annabelle Bergum, Thomas Bock, Sebastian Boehm, Christian Hechtl, Christian Kaltenecker, Florian Sattler, Christof Tinnes, Kallistos Weis

Performance is a critical aspect of software in many domains, such as high-performance computing or embedded systems, where resources are limited. When it comes to assessing the performance of software systems, performance engineers face a multitude of problems to solve, some of which are:

* How should we configure the software system to be performance-optimal (compile-time vs. run-time arguments)?
* How should we analyze the software system to understand and predict performance behavior (white-box vs. black-box)?
* How often should performance measurements be run (e.g., with every commit or before a new release)?
* How should we benchmark software systems (hardware, workloads, etc.)?

In this seminar, we address and discuss possible solutions and trade-offs, theoretically, by addressing the state of the art in research and, practically, by planing, preparing, and performing our own performance experiments.

Due to the current situation with SARS-CoV-2, this course will be held online. The topic assignment will take place on Thursday, 15.04.2021, 12:15 PM. Further information will be provided via e-mail after the registration.

Requirements: Basic knowledge on software engineering

Places: 7