Spring 2024: Usable Security (COMPSCI 586)

Security and privacy problems are societal challenges that cannot be solved solely through technology. The increasing security and privacy incidents, including phishing, identity thefts, and attacks on consumer smart devices, highlight the growing need to establish a continuous and in-depth understanding of how human factors play a critical role in these situations.

This course will introduce several security and privacy topics that have a strong human factors component. Students will learn user research methods to effectively study people's security and privacy attitudes, concerns, and practices when they interact with technologies. Below are some of the themes that we will cover throughout this course:

  • User Research Methods and Ethics
  • Equity and Inclusivity in Security and Privacy
  • Developing Security and Privacy Tools
  • Security and Privacy Education and Awareness
  • Human-Centered Security and Privacy in Emerging Technologies (e.g., Internet of Things)
  • Coding methods to analyze qualitative data (e.g., first and second-cycle coding, grounded theory).

Course website: https://courses.cs.duke.edu/spring24/compsci586/

Fall 2023: User Research Methods (COMPSCI 290)

Academic researchers, policymakers, and designers of technologies often need to conduct user-centered experiments to capture people's attitudes, concerns, expectations, and practices toward their designed tools and policies. Conducting effective, unbiased, and reliable user studies requires in-depth knowledge of empirical research methods and analysis tools. This course serves as an introduction to a wide range of user-centered research study design methods and data analysis techniques that students can use to capture users' perceived and real attitudes and behaviors toward technologies and policies.

Below are some of the topics that are covered in the course:

  • Overview of behavioral research methods (e.g., descriptive, relational).
  • Developing user research hypotheses.
  • Identifying suitable experimental designs (e.g., factorial design, mixed methods design).
  • Designing effective quantitative experiments, including surveys and measurement studies.
  • Designing effective qualitative studies, including interviews and focus groups.
  • Statistical tests to analyze quantitative data (e.g., regression models, correlation tests) and their implementation in R.
  • Coding methods to analyze qualitative data (e.g., first and second-cycle coding, grounded theory).
  • Ethical considerations when working with human subjects.

Course website: www.courses.cs.duke.edu/fall23/compsci290.1/

Spring 2023: Usable Security (COMPSCI 590)

Course website: www.courses.cs.duke.edu/spring23/compsci590.3/