Fall 2020 - CMPT 318 D100

Special Topics in Computing Science (3)


Class Number: 6607

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM

    Th 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    CMPT 225. Additional prerequisites to be determined by the instructor subject to approval by the undergraduate program chair.



Special topics in computing science at the 300 level. Topics that are of current interest or are not covered in regular curriculum will be offered from time to time depending on availability of faculty and student interest.


This course introduces cybersecurity and cyber situational awareness concepts and discusses cyber intelligence in the context of big data. Cyber security analytics and probabilistic modeling for threat detection and response (mitigative action) will play a central role. Coursework involves using the R language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Fundamental concepts and principles of cybersecurity risk assessment, intrusion detection and prevention, critical infrastructure protection and beyond will be discussed in detail.


  • Probability theory
  • Discrete Markov processes
  • Threat analysis and modeling
  • Advanced persistent threats
  • Time series analysis and forecasting
  • Anomaly detection and scoring methods
  • Cyber risk mitigation strategies
  • Blockchain technology


  • The course has three tests (worth 30% of the total grade), three graded assignments (worth 15%) and a term project organized as group project with a project report and presentation in class (worth 50%). There will also be reading assignments and several tutorials. Class participation accounts for up to 5% of the total grade. This grading scheme is tentative and will be finalized during the first week of classes, also depending on external circumstances.



  • An Introduction to Statistical Learning with Applications in R, G. James, D. Witten, T. Hastie, and R. Tibshirani, Springer, 2017, 978-1461471370
  • How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk, Douglas W. Hubbard and Richard Seiersen, John Wiley & Sons, 2016, 978-1119085294

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).