Course Syllabus

NOTE: Some links in this syllabus page may only be accessible to currently enrolled students.

Introduction to Course by Designer


In this course, we’re not only going to learn forensic techniques, but we’re going to study the law surrounding it. You’ll learn how to collect and process digital evidence that will hold up in court. You’ll learn the laws used to prosecute black hat hackers. We’ll study famous cases, talk about things called shellbags and hives, and find things hidden in pictures. And, for your final project, you’ll submit an expert witness report and solve a complex, digital crime along the way.

At the completion of the course, you will be able to ...

  1. Distinguish relevant legal structure and laws, including evidentiary rules and criminal investigation techniques
  2. Understand and describe the collection and analysis of forensics evidence on digital systems
  3. Use legally-sound evidence gathering and curating techniques for digital forensics
  4. Apply tools and techniques to acquire, curate and authenticate forensics evidence from digital systems
  5. Analyze forensics evidence and demonstrate a complete investigation of a real-world platform/system containing evidence of a cybercrime/incident


Instructor Introduction



A syllabus document is available as a pdf file.

Instructional Staff

Role Name Email
Instructor Bram Lewis

Communication Policy

Please post all course-related questions on Piazza (found in left navigation panel in Canvas) so the whole class may benefit from our conversation. Piazza is also easily searchable and you may find your question already answered. Not all posts require a reply from the instructor and often it is better for students to hash out an answer to a question. 

Please contact me privately for matters of a personal nature. The instructor will reply to most course related questions within 24-48 hours but may take longer over holidays or weekends. If you do not hear from me immediately on an issue that needs a more timely response, please do not hesitate to send a kind reply to your original message so it stays at the top of the inbox. If there is a to-do item that is not critical, the instructor may not respond until the action is complete so as to not miss the action item. Keep in mind, some action items may be completed along with grading, which may be several days.

Office hours and other synchronous discussions will be held on Teams. Otherwise, this course is fully asynchronous. Students will be expected to make full use of the course materials and other engagement opportunities. Students are also encouraged to participate in discussions on Piazza. Not only is there opportunity to have your questions answered, but also to help others, which is one of the best ways to learn.

Ground Rules for Online Communication & Participation:

  • Online threaded discussions are public messages, and all writings in this area will be viewable by the entire class or assigned group members. If you prefer that only the instructor reads your communication, send it to the instructor directly by email, making sure to identify yourself and the course.
  • Posting of personal contact information is discouraged (e.g. telephone numbers, address, personal website address).
  • Online Instructor Response Policy: Instructor check email frequently and will respond to course-related questions within 48 hours if you use a [CS477] prepended email tag.
  • Observation of "Netiquette": All your online communications must be composed with fairness, honesty and tact. Spelling and grammar are very important in an online course. What you put into an online course reflects on your professionalism. Here are some references discussing
  • Please check Piazza and the course syllabus before you ask general course questions. If you don't see your answer there, then post a new question on the Piazza Q&A threads.

(Adapted from Jean Mandernach, PSY)

Guidelines for a productive and effective online classroom

  • The discussion board is your space to interact with your colleagues related to current topics or responses to your colleague’s statements.
  • Participate actively in the discussions, after completing the readings and carefully considering the issues.
  • Pay close attention to what your classmates write in online comments. Ask clarifying questions, when appropriate. These questions are meant to probe and shed new light … not to minimize or devalue comments.
  • Think through and reread your comments before you post them.
  • Assume the best about others in the class and expect the best from them.
  • Value the diversity of the class. Recognize and value the experiences, abilities, and knowledge each person brings to class.
  • It’s OK to disagree with ideas, but do not make personal attacks.
  • Be open to being challenged or confronted on your ideas or prejudices.

(Adapted from Susan Shaw, WS)

Grading & Regrading

We will attempt to grade the assignments within 7 days of the due date. For questions related to grading or regrading please directly email the instructor.

Office Hours

The best place to ask questions and get help is on Piazza. If you'd like direct, personal help, our Office Hours for this course will be held on our Teams or on Zoom. The up to date list of office hours is provided on the "Home" page

Note: Office hours will not be held during Finals Week, or on days that the University has off (holidays, inclement weather days, etc.). The Instructors reserve the right to cancel or move office hours, but will give appropriate warning, if possible.





Course Summary:

Date Details