ETAPS 2013: 16-24 March 2013, Rome, Italy


This year we shall have one day devoted to tutorials, covering three hot-topics in computer science. The tutorials will take place in the pre-sunday (i.e., March 17th), they will be 2 hours long each and will be sequentially scheduled. The ordered list of tutorials is:

  • 9.00-11.00: Ralf Küsters (Univ. of Trier, Germany) - E-Voting
  • 11.30-12.30 / 14.00-15.00: Martin Fränzle (Univ. of Oldenburg, Germany) - Cyber-Physical Systems
  • 16.00-18.00: John C. Mitchell (Stanford Univ., USA) - E-Education


Title: E-Voting

Speaker: Ralf Küsters, University of Trier, Germany

Slides: available here

Abstract: Systems for electronic voting (e-voting systems), including systems for voting over the Internet and systems for voting at a voting booth, are employed in many countries. However, most of the systems used in practice today do not provide a sufficient level of security. For example, programming errors and malicious behavior easily go undetected. Not surprisingly, numerous problems with e-voting systems have been reported in various countries, including the USA, India, and the Netherlands. Therefore, in recent years modern e-voting systems have been designed that strive to satisfy a rich set of fundamental but at the same time intricate and seemingly contradictory security requirements. For example, besides keeping the votes of individual voters private (privacy of votes), they try to allow voters to check that their votes were counted correctly, even if voting machines and authorities are malicious (verifiability/accountability). Some of these systems also try to prevent vote buying and voter coercion (coercion resistance). In this tutorial, we will cover central security requirements of e-voting systems, including those mentioned above, and how they can be defined. We will also take a close look at several e-voting systems with respect to such requirements. Short bio: Ralf Küsters received his Ph.D. in computer science from RWTH Aachen in 2000 and his habilitation in computer science from the University of Kiel in 2005. He spent one year at Rutgers University during his Ph.D. studies and one year as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Before joining the Department of Computer Science at the University of Trier as a full professor for Information Security and Cryptography in 2007, Ralf was a lecturer and the head of the research group Foundations of Computer and Network Security in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich. Ralf was awarded the Springorum Medal of RWTH Aachen for his distinguished diploma degree and the Borchers Medal of RWTH Aachen for his distinguished doctoral degree. Among others, he received scholarships from the German National Merit Foundation and the German Research Foundation. While Ralf's Ph.D. was on logic-based knowledge representation, his research since then has focused on information security and cryptography. He has been working on formal methods for security protocols, modular cryptographic protocol analysis, in particular, universal composability, language-based security for systems that use cryptography, and e-voting. Ralf has served on program committees of various conferences in security and cryptography.

Title: Cyber-Physical Systems Speaker: Martin Fränzle, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany

Slides: If you want the slides of the talk, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Abstract: Cyber-physical systems are characterized by, first and foremost, featuring a tight interaction between their computational and physical components, but add aspects of networking, distributed control, mobility, autonomy, ad-hoc cooperation, and integration with IT-services ("internet of things") to this. They do thus provide a natural next step in an evolution from embedded systems over hybrid systems to a world seamlessly integrating physical and virtual entities, confronting software design and analysis with new challenges. While embedded system design, e.g. for an airbag controller, focusses on the digital signal paths running from sensors to actuators through the embedded hard- and software, hybrid systems extend this view to the feedback behavior between embedded system and its physical environment, the latter usually assumed to be known and structurally static. The corresponding design tools thus permit the -often model-based- design of embedded feedback control, also in cooperative contexts like prevention of airplane collisions. An underlying assumption, however, generally is that the mission of cooperating agents is known (e.g., all airplanes are willing to avoid collisions, and do this according to an agreed protocol) and that a sufficiently reliable communication medium supports negotiation and cooperation between agents. Such assumptions limit the usefulness of the pertinent models and tools in emerging technological scenarios, like intelligent intersections -where cars and infrastructure form an unreliable ad-hoc network for cooperation- or even smart cities -where the cooperative mission is dynamic. Such cyber-physical systems therefore call for an integration of various models and analysis techniques we have investigated in the past, as these cover relevant, yet isolated aspects of the dynamics exhibited by cyber-physical systems. The tutorial will explain emerging cyber-physical systems in domains ranging from transportation to supplies, identify their requirements with respect to safety, security, reliability, and the interaction of the geometric perspective with these. It will then demonstrate automated analysis techniques for some of these aspects and will explore the scenarios they are able to cover. This immediately leads to the identification of need for research. Short bio: Martin Fränzle is professor at the Department of Computing Science at Oldenburg University, Germany, where he teaches formal methods and hybrid discrete-continuous systems, as well as related subjects. His research interests are in modelling, verification, and synthesis of reactive, real-time, and hybrid systems, as well as applications in advanced driver assistance, autonomous driving, and power networks.

Title: Online Teaching and Learning: What next? Speaker: John C Mitchell, Stanford University Abstract In fall 2011, 350,000 people registered for three free online courses announce by Stanford faculty, prompting extended media discussion. These courses combined interactive video with automated assessment and online discussion, on a schedule set by the instructor. Since then, many others have developed Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have been hailed as the democratization of higher education and a solution to college cost crisis. At the same time, educators have questioned their educational effectiveness and voiced concerns over possible disruption of the academic enterprise. This tutorial will summarize some of the different teaching and learning models that have been used and show how data collected at scale can lead to new approaches and insights. We will also look at the ways courses are produced, evolving features of the delivery platforms, and some possible scenarios for the future. Overall, I believe that new teaching and learning tools associated with social networking and web technology provide dramatic opportunities for educational research and innovation. Bio John Mitchell is Stanford's Vice Provost for Online Learning and the Mary and Gordon Crary Professor in the School of Engineering. He organization supports the instructional design, production and delivery of online teaching and learning material. As a result of his seed grant programs, Stanford funded over 30 experimental faculty activities for 2012-13 that will develop and deploy new online activities in on-campus or externally available courses.  As a professor of computer science, Mitchell's research interests include computer security, privacy, programming languages, mathematical logic, and web technology.