1 master of engineering in computer science voorzijde options secure software artificial intelligence
3 MASTER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE The world has become digital. Computers and software play a central role in society: in companies, in education and research, and in our daily lives. Each year our daily activities become more intertwined with the digital world. Therefore the goal of the Departement of Computer Science of KU Leuven is to pursue novel innovations in order to develop the technology required for the next generation of applications. Some of todays software systems are the most complex systems known to mankind. Building such systems requires dealing with the complexity involved in designing, implementing and maintaining reliable software systems to address challenging applications in health care, the financial and the socio-cultural world, among others. Why study Computer Science? After completing this program, you will be an expert in the development and professional use of the most advanced computer systems, as they are ubiquitious in all aspects of todays society. You will be trained to specify, design, implement, test, maintain and manage complex software systems, often as part of a team. You will learn to deal with complexity, and to take into account diverse requirements, such as functionality, reliability, user-friendliness, security, intelligence, adaptability, efficiency and cost. You will face state-of-the-art research questions and be guided to formulate your own research goals, design plans to achieve them and to successfully execute them. You will be trained in communication skills and stimulated to aquire a broad societal view on the relevance of computer science and technology today. 3
4 Your profile Applicants Successful applicants must have completed an Academic Bachelor program in Computer Science or Informatics; be familiar with programming, including object oriented programming; and be knowledgable about computer architecture, networks and databases. Additionally a strong background in mathematics, including analysis, linear algebra, numerical mathematics, statistics and preferably discrete mathematics is needed. Experience working in teams is beneficial. Graduates Upon completion of the master program, you will possess thorough knowledge of techniques and methods in software systems (distributed systems, languages and operating systems) basic knowledge of a number of application areas skills in the analysis and synthesis of very complex systems a broad experience with different programming languages, operating systems and software packages the skills to independently aquire new knowledge and insights, and to apply techniques and methodologies in novel, possibly research related problems in Computer Science deep insight in and experience with techniques, methods and tool from your specialisation area (Secure Software, Artificial Intelligence, or in both) research experience, on the level of a starting researcher; in your specialisation area communication skills and experience with team work a broad view of the role of Computer Science in society 4
7 PROGRAMME The core program (44 credits) consists of courses in Distributed Systems, Comparative Programming Languages, Modelling of Complex Systems, Design of Software Systems, Software Architecture, Fundamentals of Computer Science and Declarative Languages. The core program also contains an elective course that prepares students for their option. Students select a specialisation module (18 credits) either in the Software Security option or in the Artificial Intelligence option. They select a broadening module (18 credits), which may be composed from courses from both options. In addition, they select general interest courses (12 credits) and a free elective course (4 credits). The central part of the programme is the Master s thesis (24 credits) in which students conduct their own research within their specialisation area. Core Programme Distributed systems Comparative Programming Languages Modelling of complex systems Design of Software Systems Software Architecture Fundamentals of Computer Science Declarative Languages Preparation course for option 44 credits 6 credits 6 credits 6 credits 6 credits 6 credits 5 credits 4 credits 5 credits Specialization part 18 credits Broadening part 18 credits Master thesis 24 credits General interest courses 12 credits Free elective courses 4 credits 7
8 Career Prospects There is a vast, world-wide demand for IT specialists. Highly qualified Masters in Computer Science are highly sought after in nearly all sectors of industry, public services, education and research. Even though Belgium is a small country, there are over vacancies for IT specialists. The same situation exists in other industrialized countries, but the numbers are higher. There is a broad range of career opportunities including: software architects and software engineers, IT-consultants, security specialists, big data analysts, system managers, IT-managers, researchers, lecturers and many others. The need for experts in the specializations offered at KU Leuven, secure software and artificial intelligence (including big data) is especially high. S S From my own study in Master in Computer Science, I mostly recall how we were challenged to make creative efforts. Sure, just as many other higher university programs, Computer Science also requires the assimilation of much knowledge, but the really important skills that we learned were about achieving deep insights. We learned how to independently analyze and structure very large and complex systems. The field is constantly evolving, which creates a slightly chaotic dynamism in Computer Science. As a student, one feels part of an atmosphere with continuously renewing and challenging events. The education provided a very sound basis and all required technical skills. Of course, the real practice and the way to deal with the people is more something you learn on the job. Carl Tilkin-Franssens, CIO Acerta 8
9 ECURE OFTWARE Master of engineering in Computer Science - Secure Software
10 ECURE OFTWARE The staggering growth of the Internet has had a significant impact on our society. Social networks, e-commerce, e-government and e-health have impacted both our personal and professional lives, in ways we could not have imagined two decades ago. While there are obviously many positive aspects to these technological innovations, there is also a dark side. The increased network-connectivity of computing devices leads to an increased risk of cybercrime, identity theft, and privacy breaches. The US National Academy of Engineering has identified the development of a more secure cyberspace as one of the grand engineering challenges of this century. A critical aspect of that challenge is engineering more secure software. The secure software master option is an excellent preparation to help address this challenge. WHY STUDY SOFTWARE SECURITY? 10 Software is a key component of both Internet infrastructure and Internet applications. The software programs that make popular applications, such as social networks or cloud services tick, are among the most complex technological man-made artifacts ever. However, the complexity of software is also the Achilles heel of cyberspace. Vulnerabilities in software are common and easy to exploit by cybercriminals. Over the past decades, research in software security both in industry and academia has developed a wealth of new insights, knowledge and techniques that can help developers address the challenge of engineering a more secure cyberspace. Studying software security will help you understand the vulnerabilities and what can be done about them. It will give you insight in processes and techniques to produce higher quality software that is more resilient to attack. This is important today, and given the increasing impact of software, it will be even more important tomorrow.
11 Cyber security THEMES - cybercrime - privacy in social networks - hacking - security architectures - secure programming languages - web application security - embedded systems security - threat modeling - security by design Cyber security refers both to (1) the capabilities to defend against cyber criminal activities on the internet, ranging from deployment of malware, distributed denial of service, elevation of privilege for malicious purposes, etc. as well as to (2) the skills and techniques needed to construct software systems that are more resilient to a new and evolving range of attacks. Relevant subdomains of computer science that can and will contribute to this new type of discipline include language and compiler technology, software analysis and verification techniques, self-adaptive security systems, cloud security, etc. Threat modeling Threat modeling or threat analysis is the act of understanding and documenting the potential threats to a system. It requires the analyst to understand both what the valuable assets are that might be abused as well as who might be potential attackers to the system and what their motivations and capabilities are. A good understanding of the potential threats to a software system is essential input to a secure software development process, as it steers the selection of defense mechanisms or countermeasures that will be built into the system. 11
12 Central courses in the Secure Software option The central courses in the Secure Software option include Introduction to ICT Security (5 credits), Development of Secure Software (6 credits), Security of Network and Computer Infrastructure (4 credits) and Capita Selecta Computer Science: Secure Software (6 credits). Optional courses are, among others, related to Cryptography and Formal Systems. A I A master thesis in Secure Software In his master thesis, Tom Reynaert investigated the problems related to privacy in online social networks. The thesis focused on the privacy leaks that are caused by social apps. Such social apps are extremely popular. On Facebook alone, there are 20 million app installations daily. Since social apps have access to user private information, they can also be an important threat to user privacy. An investigation conducted by the Wall Street Journal in 2010, revealed that nearly every popular Facebook application was leaking in one way or another sensitive private information to other parties, such as Internet tracking companies and advertising companies. Tom has analyzed this problem for a number of social app platforms, and has proposed a design for a novel app platform that is more secure and privacy friendly. By building on research results from the department of Computer Science at KU Leuven, he succeeded in putting tight control on how sensitive information could be leaked by social apps. Tom Reynaert was awarded the Alcatel-Lucent Thesis Award 2012 for this Master Thesis. 12
13 RTIFICIAL NTELLIGENCE Master of engineering in Computer Science - artificial intelligence
14 RTIFICIAL NTELLIGENCE One of the most fascinating research issues today is the investigation of the true nature of intelligence, which involves the study of cognitive processes and models, natural language and perception, human knowledge representation and reasoning. Related to these issues, possibly the ultimate research objective in science is the development of an intelligent agent: a robot that can perceive and communicate, through natural language as well as through vision, sensors and movement. A robot that can represent its own knowledge and reason on the basis of it, that can plan and act, that can assimilate new knowledge from experience and interaction with its environment, and, in general, that can perform any task that we tend to consider typical of intelligent living beings. In Computer Science, we investigate the enabling technology for these long term goals: advanced programming languages for AI, diverse problem solving and machine learning techniques, data mining, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and many others. WHY STUDY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE? Techniques from artificial intelligence have been used to successfully address many important and challenging problems such as question answering, game playing, speech to text systems, Web search, and many more. Everyday, more and more commercial applications appear that make use of techniques from Artificial Intelligence. This trend goes hand in hand with increasing governmental and industrial support for AI research. As companies in a variety of different domains continue to collect data at staggering rates, the so-called big data revolution, techniques from AI are needed to unlock the knowledge and information hidden within this data. Currently, there is a shortage of individuals that possess the required academic background in the fundamentals of AI and have experience in solving problems with AI. When searching for these individuals, those with Master degrees in Computer Science are highly prized and this program will help you develop the skills that employers covet. 14
15 Machine learning THEMES - machine learning - data mining - information retrieval - knowledge representation - genetic algorithms - multi-agent systems - natural language processing - speech processing - computer vision - robotics Machine learning s aim is to design systems whose performance on a task improves with experience. Currently, machine learning plays a central role in many applications that pervade everyday, ranging from Web search to product recommendation systems for online resellers. This program will help provide you with insight into the inner workings of the underlying technologies that drive these systems. With the emerging trend of big data, the importance of machine learning will continue to grow and individuals with knowledge in this area are, and will continue to be, in high demand. Computer vision Computer vision deals with computerized processing of images and movies to assist or automate visual perception tasks. It draws on theoretical aspects of AI in order to relate images to abstract models of the world - inverse computer graphics, as it were. With increasing computer power, more and more challenging applications are becoming feasible. Successful examples include visual quality control in manufacturing systems, automatic surveillance, optical character recognition, remote sensing, content based image retrieval and image based medical diagnosis support systems. 15
16 CENTRAL COURSES IN THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE OPTION The central courses in the Artficial Intelligence option include Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence (5 credits), Machine Learning and Inductive Inference (6 credits), Advanced Programming Languages for A.I. (4 credits) and Capita Selecta Computer Science: Artificial Intelligence (4 credits). There are very many optional courses in this option, including Genetic Algorithms, Uncertainty in A.I., Knowledge Representation, Data Mining, Information Retrieval, Robotics, Computer Vision, Speech Recognition, among others. L K A master thesis in artificial intelligence Tim Op De Beeck and Jeroen Mordijck worked together as a team to develop their master thesis. They investigated whether it is possible to improve the current prediction of injuries in professional football. The motivation is twofold. First, there is a big financial cost for professional football clubs associated with injuries. Second, more serious injuries increase the risk for future health problems. Therefore, it is key to keep players in top shape and injury free as much as possible. An accurate prediction of injuries, as well as a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause them, are important to meet this goal. Through a collaboration with TopSportsLab, a KU Leuven spin-off, they were able to work with real data of five professional football clubs. Using Machine Learning and Data Mining they were able to produce promising results. They showed that Machine Learning is a good fit to improve the current state of the art, as well as to get a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause injuries. Tim will continue the research on this topic in a PhD. 16
17 EUVEN U LEUVEN leuven & ku leuven
18 why study in Leuven? the university of Leuven Leuven is a very lively and pleasant, small university city, located in the center of Western Europe, only 25 kilometers from Brussels. Its students form more than half of the population in the center of the town. In Leuven, students do not disappear in the crowd: they are the city s prime citizens. Social and cultural activities are aimed at and geared to the student audience. These are often in English, to accommodate the many non- Belgian students, and are scheduled throughout the entire academic year. Moreover, movies are always shown in their original language version. Very appropriately, the publicity slogan used by the town officials is Leuven: centuries old and sparkling young. Impressive and beautifully restored historic buildings, mixed with many attractive cafes, snack bars and restaurants, give the city a playful charm. A sparkling multi-cultural life adds young and dynamic features to the old town. 18 The University of Leuven (1425) is among the oldest universities in Western Europe. Throughout its history, many eminent scholars, such as Erasmus, Mercator and Vesalius, conducted their research under the auspices of the university. Today, the university is the largest in Belgium and is highly esteemed for its view on education, which is firmly rooted in internationally leading research. living conditions The monthly rent (including electricity and gas) for a student room ranges from 250 to 350 Euro and up to 400 Euro for a small flat. The cost of living for a single person for one month, exclusive of lodging amounts to 250 to 400 Euro. Personal computers can be rented cheaply from the university and access to the Internet is widely available in student housing.
19 Admission requirements Admission is based on the evaluation of a complete application file by the Programme Advisory Committee of the Master of Engineering in Computer Science programme. Holders of a Bachelor s degree in Computer Science or Informatics must submit a full application file via KU Leuven s online application system. Admission criteria include the quality of the candidate s Bachelor s programme, the student s past academic performance based on official transcripts, the student s statement of motivation and the student s English proficiency. Application The online application can be found at: Deadline for application 1 March 2014 Tuition fee 610. This programme is funded by the Flemish Government. 19
20 Department of computer science KU Leuven Celestijnenlaan 200 A 3001 Heverlee -Belgium More info General information Application: International programmes: International Office: Publications Faculty of Engineering Science Department of Computer Science Celestijnenlaan 200A 3001 Heverlee BELGIUM Tel Programme director: Prof. Philip Dutré
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