MPCS 56511 Introduction to Computer Security (Winter 2023)

Section 1
Instructor(s) Rossell, Shelley (shelley)
Location Online
Meeting Times Monday 5:15pm - 7:30pm
Fulfills Core Systems Elective



This course introduces security principles and practices. Topics will range from encryption to network and application threats and controls. The course will emphasize both offense (i.e., attacker mindset) and defense(the importance of implementing both technical and non-technical controls).


  • ●  Threat Landscape

  • ●  Encryption

  • ●  Authentication and access control

  • ●  Host based security

  • ●  Network security

  • ●  Web and application security

  • ●  Risk management

  • ●  Monitoring

  • ●  Incident response


  1. Coursework

    • ●  Homework assignments and required readings from freely available sources

    • ●  Labs

    • ●  Quizzes

    • ●  Final project


Course Prerequisites

Other Prerequisites

Familiarity with Linux command line
Familiarity with TCP/IP and network routing recommended

This course requires basic competency in Unix and Linux. If you attended the MPCS Unix Bootcamp you covered the required material. If you did not, please review the UChicago CS Student Resource Guide here:

Overlapping Classes

This class is scheduled at a time that conflicts with these other classes:

  • MPCS 51087-1 -- High Performance Computing
  • MPCS 51410-1 -- Object Oriented Programming
  • MPCS 51200-2 -- Introduction to Software Engineering

Eligible Programs

Masters Program in Computer Science MS in Computational Analysis in Public Policy (Year 2) MS in Molecular Engineering MA in Computational Social Science (Year 1) MA in Computational Social Science (Year 2) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 1: Research-Oriented) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 2: Professionally-oriented - CS Majors) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 3: Profesionally-oriented - Non-CS Majors)