Peter Reiher

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Easiness 3.0/ 5
Clarity 5.0/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 5.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2020 - For Secure Software Development. Truly a great class - it’s essentially CS 136 Part 2: practical project time. There are no exams, and few lectures. Most lectures are designated as team time - where you meet with your team and work on your project/reports. The entire class revolves around proposing, designing, and building a piece of software in a secure fashion. You do this in a group of 4-5. Your grade is entirely based on the reports you write, and the project demo. First, you write a short project proposal. Then, you write a detailed design document, mainly focusing on security. These are done in weeks 1 and 2, respectively. Then, you work on the project. You’re expected to complete the project by the end of Week 7, at which point you’ll demo it. Then, you conduct a security review of your project, and write a report on it. After that, you have a week to fix bugs/issues you found. From there, you do a security review of another team’s project, and write a report. Finally, you have one final report which details your final implemented design - including all the security fixes you made after your own security review. It really is a great class. Reiher and the TAs are always available and willing to help, and encourage you to try new ideas and challenge yourself. It’s very much student-driven: it’s entirely up to you what you make, and how you split up your time building your app/service (procrastinate at your own peril). The only requirement Reiher makes for project proposals is that they have some significant security element (say, processing payments, or storing passwords). I feel like this class and CS 136 should be mandatory for graduation - they’re that valuable in my opinion. 136 gives you baseline theoretical knowledge of computer security, and small practical applications in the labs. This 188 gives you a complete real-world experience in building a secure piece of software. Reiher is knowledgeable, helpful, and has put together a truly practical class. Take this if it ever is offered while you’re at UCLA.
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