We attended the SWITS seminar with a COINS delegation also this year. SWITS is the Swedish Network of IT Security Students, in many ways a network of Ph.D. students and faculty like COINS. Berglind Smaradottir, Vivek Agrawal, and Yi-Ching Liao joined from COINS.
The first day started with an introduction of all IT security research groups in Sweden. Every group got three minutes to present its people, research focus etc. COINS was also given the possibility to present. Most of the remaining time was spent in nine sessions of two to four PhD. students presenting their research and status of their Ph.D. Presentations lasted 15 minutes each, including feedback and discussion. Presentations were grouped by topics, e.g. there was a session on information flow security, one on vehicular security etc.
In the afternoon of the first day, the audience split up into different working groups. One working group discussed cooperation between SWITS and COINS. We concluded with several ideas that we want to implement this year:
- Have a poster session at NordSec in Tromsø with many posters from COINS and SWITS students.
- Invite SWITS students to the COINS Ph.D. student seminar 13-15 October 2014, sponsor travel+accommodation, and organise student presentations as a mini-conference. With the mini-conference style, students could explore the work of a programme committee and the peer review process. The goal is to have a low threshold to presentation with (almost) 100% acceptance rate.
- For senior faculty/supervisors and also for Ph.D. students we intend to organise a workshop/session on Ph.D. supervision in information security. The goal is to exchange experience, and to share what works and what does not – both from the perspective of supervisors and supervised.
- For the week following the Ph.D. student seminar and NordSec, we envision to participate in the hack.lu CTF competition with a joint SWITS/COINS team.
- Potential lecturers from SWITS could already consider contributing to the COINS summer school planned for 2015.
After the formal programme, all participants were introduced to Uppsala’s history by Carl von Linne. The tour focused on the academic history of Uppsala, featuring the oldest university in Scandinavia.
The second day continued with student presentations and an invited talk by a representative of MSB (Swedish Civil Contingencis Agency), the sponsor providing financial support to the SWITS seminar.
Next year’s SWITS seminar will probably be organized in Västerås by Mälardalen University.