Rutgers University Student Instructional Rating
(Online Survey)
Ganapathy V
Fall 2015, 16:198:546:01 — Comp Sys Security (index #10847)
Enrollment= 26, Responses= 24

Part A: University-wide Questions:
Student Responses Weighted Means
No response
Section Course Level Dept
1. The instructor was prepared for class and presented the material in an organized manner. 0 0 1 2 21 0 4.83 4.83 4.29 4.32
2. The instructor responded effectively to student comments and questions. 0 0 0 3 21 0 4.88 4.88 4.44 4.45
3. The instructor generated interest in the course material. 0 0 1 2 21 0 4.83 4.83 4.13 4.16
4. The instructor had a positive attitude toward assisting all students in understanding course material. 0 0 1 1 22 0 4.88 4.88 4.48 4.48
5. The instructor assigned grades fairly. 0 1 2 4 17 0 4.54 4.54 4.39 4.39
6. The instructional methods encouraged student learning. 0 0 2 6 16 0 4.58 4.58 4.08 4.10
7. I learned a great deal in this course. 0 1 0 4 19 0 4.71 4.71 4.12 4.14
8. I had a strong prior interest in the subject matter and wanted to take this course. 1 0 3 6 14 0 4.33 4.33 4.24 4.22
9. I rate the teaching effectiveness of the instructor as: 0 1 1 5 17 0 4.58 4.58 4.12 4.14
10. I rate the overall quality of the course as: 0 1 1 4 18 0 4.63 4.63 4.13 4.15

What do you like best about this course?:

The instructor covered a wide spectrum of topics with equal importance for each. I'm taking away a lot from this course. Plus the lectures were great. It's as fun as watching an entertaining and intense 3 hour movie every week! :)

It was one of the most engaging classes I've ever taken at Rutgers.

This course is the best i have taken so far. Excellent material on system security pertinent to todays situations

The schedule. As I excepted, the contents of this course are very useful and full-scale, almost including all aspects of Computer Security, also the schedule is perfect. All event happened exactly as the schedule said. I can check them any time and know the time of each exam and final from the beginning of this course.

Topics covered

Very interesting papers/concepts to learn. Usage of board to explain concepts.

Introduced many new concepts and methodologies in the field of security and encouraged me to learn even more.

It was very challenging, but I learned a great deal.

The professor know many areas of cyber security

I like the selection of research papers and the balance between fundamental system/security papers and more recent technologies (intel SGX for example). The flexibility given to chose between an exam or work on a project is great as well.

The range of topics was interesting

The breadth of topics covered as well as the depth of the topics. In addition to that, keeping up with current trends instead of studying off a book written a few years back. The exams were thought provoking and interesting.

I really enjoy how the professor gave real world examples of the systems and attacks at play. He really made it amazing to learn about how so many different ways of security attacks there are.

Prof. Ganapathy gave us one very comprehensive view about system security.

New concepts, completely unaware about such attacks, defenses. Good thing was learning through reading papers, thinking multi dimensionally, from various aspects, applying the concepts of multiple papers to a situation. Professor introducing and encouraging us to learn the current attacks, news was a terrific experience.

If you were teaching this course, what would you do differently?:

I would have given more hands on assignments related to the papers being read. This would illustrate the importance of certain results than just reading through the papers.

Nothing, it was perfect.

Nothing . Its fine

I may learn from my instructor how he teaching this lecture. I think it is good enough.

More practical assignments

Have more programming assignments. And make reading papers before class an assignment.

In case of exam only options, encourage extra credits for practical application of some of the techniques learnt in the course in the student's other projects.

More assignments. Less exams.

Might just think of curving for grading. Although, completely agree with the professor's opinion regarding the same.

Some of the exam questions tended to be vague due to the nature of combining the different papers so it sometimes made it difficult to know what was being asked or what the question was looking for as an answer.

The buffer overflow homework was great practice: a second technical homework could have been interesting.

If I were teaching the course I would have chosen fewer topics and encouraged small implementations of them

If it were possible to build sandboxes where some of the vulnerabilities discussed in class could be tested by the students, I'd introduce more assignments and lesser exams.

Some more hands on rather than exams

I would try to assign more questions in the exams so that the penalty of each question would not be as high. The questions on the exam were overall fair but exam2 was trickier than expected.

Almost the same

I would provide assignments on Privilege seperation, Browser Security, Javascript Sandboxing, which would give me a crystal clear understanding of the concept. I had this experience, when I did Buffer overflow assignment. I would have gone through, few papers like Hi-Star, SGX, in much more detail. We really missed a good explanation on Hi-Star. The TA, could organize a Group Reading, or Group Discussion, bi-weekly, or monthly to discuss the papers from various angles. Even though the professor, might have asked us to form one such, but when it comes from him, obviously students take it more seriously. and many of my classmates thought if we had one such.

In what ways, if any, has this course or the instructor encouraged your intellectual growth and progress?:

Yes. The instructor pointed out real world examples now and then to highlight the state-of-the-art nature of the material being covered. Coming from a theoretical background, the instructor implicitly has instilled in me, an interest in the systems side of computer science. Looking forward to explore more avenues after this course.

Professor Vinod has given me a great perspective of how security is important in today's world when building solutions.

I am weak in some areas, the instructor keep encouraging me to discuss more with classmates, which is what I really need. Also when I am confused about one theory and ask for help, he explained times also writing instances to help me understand it. I am so encourage because of his kindly help, also his passion in class. He will talk about some fun events relevant to our topic of the lecture. We can tell that he enjoys the process of teaching. This might encourage most students of this class. A teacher enjoy his teaching can lead students to enjoy it, too.

Productive discussions

I have got good idea of the material.

The exams were mostly based on questions where we had to apply the concepts learned. This encouraged me to actually look towards the application side of methodologies.

Forcing me to read papers helped me immensely in preparing for a future in research.

The approach of breaking down papers contributions in a set of "toolbox" is interesting: it help us focus on the main contributions of the papers and it's a great take away knowledge for later use in our work or research. Your feedback on the project was very valuable.

Yes , the whole class was good .... would have been greater If the instructor would have given something like making up in the later exams or extra credit work for grades lost in one exam which would have made the course more relaxing as the grading was done on a very rigid scale

Security has always been a topic programmers in general ignore and leave it to sys admins to take care of. This course showed that there is more to security than that and how simple programming mistakes can lead to catastrophic issues. It showed me a wide variety of attacks and also methods on how to defend against them with real life examples.

The course was really fun to learn and the instructor was definitely interested in the material which made it more interesting to learn.

Yes. System security is very important area.

It allowed to increase my interest towards, System Security. I got an interest to do a thesis work under any professor in System security. I started thinking about any solution to Xcode Ghost,

Other comments or suggestions::

The way the exams were portrayed were quite intimidating. Though I found the exams to be interesting and easy, I believe it would drive away students who are interested in security. Another suggestion, is to make the project optional irrespective of exam or not. I personally wanted to work on the project, but since it was closely tied with the grade, and with no background in systems security, I didn't like to gamble. There should be another way to tackle both these scenarios!

A simple conclusion of each defense or each class or a period of study.

Excellent teaching. Enjoyed classes. Prof. is very quick in responding to emails. Too many exams, instead we can have some assignments.

You encouraged us to participate to the "build it, break it, fix it" event which seems very interesting: I wonder how hard it would be to integrate such a blue team/red team exercice as part of a security course. In any case, thank you for referring us to this event.

Thanks a lot ... was a good learning experience

The grading criteria should not be this strict.

Overall, I enjoyed the course. It was taught very well.

Please speak slowly. The professor is great, but it is a difficult course for someone who doesn't have strong foundation on system

We are expecting much more System security courses, from Rutgers Computer Science department and from Professor Vinod Ganapathy. We are expecting a Seminar Level course from you. Please Professor. My friends at MIT had lab courses on the topics I specified above, which made their understand more sound.