SIGMM Education Column

March 2011


Authors: Wei Tsang Ooi and Wu Ja-Ling


By Wei Tsang Ooi

Welcome to the SIGMM Educational Column, where we highlight interesting and noteworthy multimedia educational activities around the SIGMM community. In this issue's column, we wish to highlight a course on Multimedia Security taught in the National Taiwan University (NTU), by Professor Wu Ja-Ling.

Ensuring proper protection of digital media content is critical to the success of the modern media industry. Yet, only few existing courses focus on teaching the fundamental and the state-of-the-art in this topic. The course by Professor Wu is one of a few such courses.

The Multimedia Security course at NTU has a long history. The course was started back in 2000, to fill in a gap in the multimedia-related course-maps of EECS college at NTU. Originally titled "Information Techniques for Intellectual Property Right Protection," the course is based on the reference book ``Digital Watermarking'' by Cox, Miller, and Bloom (Morgan Kaufmann Publisher, 1999) and covered digital watermarking, digital fingerprinting, steganography, and DRM.

The course syllabus expanded in 2007 to include information forensics and biometrics recognition. The course was subsequently renamed to ``Multimedia Security.''

The current (2011) incarnation of the course covers four major topics: (i) digital watermarking and digital fingerprinting; (ii) steganography and data hiding techniques, (iii) biometric-based security and secure biometric encryption; and (iv) privacy preserving multimedia encryption and search. The course is designed around a set of selected recent papers on these topics.

Students taking the class are required to implement one digital watermarking scheme and one data hiding scheme associated with the papers they read, and gave an oral presentation on the associated techniques. Students are also expected to write a survey paper on one chosen topic related to multimedia security, and complete a team-based (up to 3 person), research-oriented, final project. The students from the course have been consistently producing top quality projects. Some of the final projects have been extended and published in venues such as IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, Information Sciences, and IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.

The course is taken by about 20 graduate students every year, and is successful in piquing their interest in the topic of multimedia security. Up to now, there are at least six graduate students who have taken the course and graduated with a Ph.D. degree with a thesis on the topic of multimedia security. Feedback from students on the course has been positive, and the course has been consistently rated with a rating above 4.4 on a 5-point evaluation system.

The detailed syllabus, reading list, references, and homework for the 2010 version of the course can be found at the course website:

If you are teaching an multimedia-related course, we would like to list your course under the SIGMM Educational Portal ( Please email the SIGMM Educational Committee at

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