Catalogue of Special Topics Courses

IIIT-Delhi encourages cutting-edge topics as part of its teaching and research curriculum. To facilitate interests in topics which are not part of standard UG and PG syllabi, it allows courses on special topics to be offered on a need and demand basis. Though such courses do not meet requirements of any core courses or stream/specialization courses, they add to the variety and ensures relevance in this fast and changing world. This page contains a record of all special topics courses offered so far.


CS/IT courses
CSE391A (ST-PRML) : 4 credits
Special Topics in Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (UG)
Pre-requisites: Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning

This is an advanced course on Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning for UG students. It is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students who already have background in both PR and ML. The course is designed as a set of special topics that will be covered through research papers. The course will focus on algorithms and models along with providing a good perspective of different real world applications. Some of the topics are Bayesian Network, Manifold Learning, Feature Selection and Dimensionality Reduction, Gaussian Processes, Distance Learning, Imitation Learning, Deep Learning.

CSE591A (ST-PRML) : 4 credits
Special Topics in Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning
Pre-requisites: Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning

This is an advanced course on Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning. It is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students who already have background in both PR and ML. The course is designed as a set of special topics that will be covered through research papers. The course will focus on algorithms and models along with providing a good perspective of different real world applications. Some of the topics are Bayesian Network, Manifold Learning, Feature Selection and Dimensionality Reduction, Gaussian Processes, Distance Learning, Imitation Learning, Deep Learning.

CSE691A (ADFYT) : 2 credits
Application Development for FaceBook Twitter YouTube
Pre-requisites: Advanced UG and PG

Web 2.0 Platforms such as FaceBook (online social networking website), Twitter (online micro-blogging website) and YouTube (online video sharing website) are one of the most visited websites on the Internet, has millions of subscribers/active-users from all over the world spending huge amount of time on the site, are integrated with thousands of third-party active applications and have already created a phenomenal social and commercial impact. This course is intended for students who are passionate about developing creative, killer and practically-useful applications for such platforms. The course will cover some technical and non-technical aspects (such as platform architecture, protocols, ecosystem, programming APIs, relevant concepts on web-development, metrics to measure impact, scalability, user-interface design, response time, privacy issues, sample successful applications, deployment, testing, iterative improvement, monetization and commercial aspects etc) but will not be purely lecture/tutorial based.
The course will be group-based, project-oriented (single semester-long project), hands-on, intensive and highly interactive. The students are expected to be self-driven, come up with their own ideas (a lot of intellectual freedom and space will be given but applications having malicious intent and harmful impact on the society will not be allowed/tolerated), implement/execute, test, deploy, continuously improve and demonstrate success/impact. The instructor will facilitate and mentor students in their application development projects.

CSE694A (TOCS) : 2 credits
Topics in Computer Security
Pre-requisites: Advanced UG and PG

The goal of this course is to explore the economic, political and social issues surrounding technology with a specific focus on computer security. Often the deployment of technology leads to a change in the social balance of power thus leading to security problems as the affected parties attempt to secure their interests. For instance, since 2001 various car safety technologies have incorporated cryptographic algorithms. The introduction of speed sensors in (car) airbags to improve their performance can lead to insurance companies using the data to prevent a motorist from making a successful claim. The usage of cryptographic authentication between the wheels and the axle of a car, in the name of safety technology, could actually be used to prevent third-party manufacture of spares and achieve customer lock-in. Chip-and-pin is another good example of how security technology is used to shift the liability of fraudulent card usage from the bank to the customer. By claiming that their systems are infallible the banks have successfully argued in numerous court cases that the customers must have divulged the pin, and thus were solely responsible for negative outcomes. We shall discuss a broad set of papers from computer security literature. Students will be required to read and present papers in class. The class will be highly interactive and students are encouraged to form opinions and participate in an informed debate. During every lecture hour we shall select a paper that will be presented by one student, who will also lead the discussion. The instructor will moderate the discussion. Each student must present at least one paper during the course.

CSE694B (BDSS) : 2 credits
Building Scalable and Robust Distributed Sensing Systems
Pre-requisites: Mobile computing, Embedded systems

The course will provide the continuity in the mobile computing stream by providing the students in the stream an opportunity to build upon the understanding developed in the earlier courses on Mobile Computing and Embedded Systems. Half the classes in the course will involve a weekly seminar class on selected advanced topics covering several constraints in developing robust and scalable distributed sensing systems. Each of these seminars will be based on state of art research in that specific topic. For the rest half of classes, the students will be given a list of readings in the same areas that were covered in the earlier part. Each student will be required to make a class presentation based on that topic and covering these readings. The students will be expected to put into practice several of these advanced concepts by building real distributed systems. It is expected that these systems will address some real world sensing problem. The course is primarily project oriented with a final exam on topics covered in the course.

CSE694C (PSOSM) : 2 credits
Privacy and Security in Online Social Media
Pre-requisites: Advanced UG and PG

With increase in the usage of the Internet, there is an exponential increase in the use of online social media on the Internet. Websites like Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, Twitter, Flickr, and likes have changed the way that Internet has been used. There is a lack of understanding of privacy and security issues on the online social media among the Internet users using these online services. There is a big need to study and characterize the privacy and security of online social media from various perspectives (computational, cultural, psychological, etc.). Students in the class will be required to read the papers assigned for the week and send the individual summary before (at least 12 hours) the class of the week. The class will be presentation and discussion format.

CSE694D (PLBS) : 2 credits
Privacy in Location based Services
Pre-requisites: Advanced UG and PG

Personalised services for mobile devices are currently hot on wheels due to the ubiquity of these devices and the increasing popularity of personalised services. The most popular form of these services enable us to obtain information on-the-go, information which depend on the spatio-temporal location and the identity of the requesting user. No wonder these services have caught the fancy of global population, and currently, there are many commercial ventures engaged in large business around the world. On the other hand, privacy advocates claim that such services come with an inherent risk of privacy breach in the sense that service is provided based on private information. This course will focus on issues related to these risks of privacy breach from various perspectives such as privacy threats in location based services, different computational notions of privacy, mechanisms to mitigate privacy attacks, tradeoff in privacy and utility in different types of location based services, database algorithms to execute private queries. Students will be assigned some papers each week which they have to present as well as review. The review report has to be submitted before the class of the week.

CSE793A (TCRYPT) : 4 credits
Topics in Cryptanalysis
Pre-requisites: Applied Cryptography, exposure to Discrete Mathematics

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with different attack strategies and techniques in Crytoanalysis research. The course will involve reading some classic and some recent papers in this area. Some of the topics to be included are Linear Cryptanalysis, Differential cryptanalysis, Hash function attacks, Attack on SHA-0, Multi-collision attacks, Time Memory trade-off, Attacks against Discrete log problem, Attacks against RSA, short exponent attacks, Side channel attacks against RSA, Meet in the middle attack, Rebound attack, Algebraic attacks, Rectangle attacks, Biclique analysis of AES.