Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 11, Number 22, December 2021

Appending Security Theories to Projects in Upper-Division CS Courses


Vahab Pournaghshband1 and Hassan Pournaghshband2, 1University of San Francisco, USA, 2Kennesaw State University, USA


Software systems have been under continued attacks by malicious entities, and in some cases, the consequences have been catastrophic. To tackle this pervasive problem, the academic world has significantly increased the offering of computer security-related courses during the past decade. In fact, offering these courses has become a standard part of the curriculum for many computing disciplines. While many proposals suggest adding this appealing topic into the nonsecurity CS courses, many faculties do not entirely support the idea for a convincing reason. They rightfully claim that each one of these courses is already packed with concepts and materials developed toward that course, leaving not much room for other topics. In this study, we show how exposing students to security concepts can be incorporated into upper-division CS courses without increasing the normally required efforts needed by students as well as the instructor. We show how to develop a project of this nature that can be appended to an already existing course project. We have successfully employed our proposed approach in two of our core CS courses and present them in this paper as case studies.


Computer Science Education, Computer Security, Security Mindset.