Course Info

Office hours: We will use for virtual office hours.
Password: If you have not received the password, please contact the instructors.
Tutorial: See this video

Office hours schedule: (Starting 9/13)

David PujolMondaynoon - 1 pm
Yuchao TaoThursday11 am - noon
Ashwin MachanavajjhalaFriday1 pm - 2 pm

Slack: We will use slack for course announcements and discussions. Please contact the instructors if you need a signup link for the slack channel


  • There are no exams.
  • The course is set up as 4 modules
    1. Introduction to Privacy
    2. Introduction to Fairness
    3. Algorithms for Privacy
    4. Algorithms for Fairness
  • Modules 1-2: Instructors will lead the discussion with lectures
  • Modules 3-4: Students read one or more papers and lead the discussion in the class.

Graded Student Work: 

  • Modules 1 and 2:
    • Each student will independently work on a homework assignment.
  • Modules 3-4:
    • Each student will individually submit a mini-critique for 10 papers that will be discussed in class. A mini-critique is like a peer-review at a conference and the very least should have:
      • Summary: Motivation + Problem + Approach + Result
      • 3 Strengths
      • 3 Weaknesses
    • 1-2 students will be assigned to lead the discussion of each paper.
  • Students will participate in an individual or group research project. Projects can focus on developing new theory/algorithms for privacy/fairness, or on implementing/adapting known algorithms to a real application setting.
  • More information about project ideas is forthcoming.


  • Homework: 20 each
  • Mini-critiques: 10
  • Class participation: 10
  • Project: 40

Late Submission Policy: 

We will allow late submissions only for HW1 and HW2 which may be submitted up to 48 hours late for a reduced maximum grade of 80%.

We do not allow any late submissions for critiques or project deliverables.

Standards of Conduct:

Under the Duke Community Standard, you are expected to do your own work–individually for homework/mini-projects, and with your team for the project. We will use the whiteboard policy for homework/mini-projects — you are allowed to discuss solutions with your peers, but you must write submissions/code independently (and indicate in your submission any assistance you received). Any assistance received that is not given proper citation will be considered a violation of the Standard.