(Latest Revision -- 02/15/2004)
Seminar in Computer Science (CS 4960)
CLASS INFO FROM SCHEDULE:
20990 #CS 4960 001 Seminar in Computer Science 1.0 Th 16:00-17:00 P-103 1
INSTRUCTOR: John Sarraille, Professor of Computer Science
Professional Schools Building (aka DBH), Cal State Stanislaus
OFFICE HOURS: MWF 10:10-11:10, 12:15-13:15, or by appointment
(Office hours commence on Monday, Feb 16, 2004 and end on Friday May 21, 2004.
There will be no classes or office hours during Spring Break: April 12-16.)
Senior standing and consent of instructor.
(This course is for senior computer science majors.)
REQUIRED TEXT: None.
- To explore aspects of computer science beyond what you have encountered
in your previous course work,
- To benefit from similar research done by your fellow students, and
- To present an important body of work in both written and oral form.
- Sign up at the beginning of the semester for a presentation date.
- Choose a computer science topic to research and present to an audience.
The audience will include, but not be limited to, the rest of the members
of the class.
- The topic must have significant academic, as opposed to merely
- The research must draw on multiple sources, and embody concepts that
may be expected to endure beyond any particular current technology.
- Propose the topic to the instructor in writing (hard copy or e-mail).
The proposal must specify multiple sources you intend to use (full
citations in bibliograpic form). The proposal must also describe the
nature of the academic content you will include in the presentation.
- To pass the course, you must turn in a satisfactory proposal. You must
get the instructor's formal approval of the proposal. Work out an
agreement. Your presentation must correspond to what you say in your
- Create a written report on your topic based on material from a variety of
sources. Synthesize and summarize the knowledge you gained from the
research. Infuse the exposition of the report with freshness and
originality. The report must tell what you learned about the subject
matter, and what you think, feel, and wonder about it. What interesting
questions has the research answered? What interesting questions remain
- Turn in your written report one week in advance of your presentation
date. Give a copy to the instructor and a copy to each member of the
class so they can review the information before the talk.
- On your assigned date deliver a one-hour oral presentation of the content
of your written report. (Seminar presentations will be publicly
announced and will be open to visitors who may wish to attend.)
- Attend all the presentations of the other members of the class, and react
to them by asking questions and by writing a short critique which will be
collected and given to the presenter.
Assuming you fulfill all the requirements listed above, I will base your grade
on three components:
Each of the components above will get equal weight.
- your grade on your written report,
- your grade on your oral presentation, and
- your participation grade.
I'll grade your paper and oral presentation based on the thoroughness and
depth with which you address your topic as well as the clarity, accuracy and
style of your presentation. You'll get a grade between 0 and 100 for each.
You'll get one participation credit for each time you attend a presentation
and turn in an acceptable critique sheet. I'll compute your number of
satisfactory critiques as a percentage of the number of possible critiques,
and this percentage will be your participation grade.
You'll receive a "CR" in the course if
Otherwise you will receive no credit ("NC").
- you receive a a score of 60 or above in each of the three components, and
- your average over the three components is 70% or above.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN WORK:
How to Cite Your Sources of Information
NETWORK AVAILABILITY OF COURSE MATERIALS:
It is very important to good scholarship and intellectual honesty that
you accurately and fully report the sources of information you employ in
preparing your report. Do your utmost to get correct information from
Your List of References
Make a list of references. In the list, cite all your sources of
information. Attach the list to the end of your written report.
Entries in your list of references must include certain information:
An entry for an article in a periodical should include the name of the
editor of the issue of the periodical, the title of the periodical, the
date of publication of the issue of the periodical, the name(s) of the
author(s) of the article, the title of the article, and the page numbers
where the article is located. If you accessed the article on-line, then
you must also cite the full URL.
An entry for a web page that is not an on-line article in a periodical
should include the title of the web page, the author (if known), the
date the page was written (if known) , the date you viewed the page, and
the full URL. If you don't see all that information right away, then
look around for it. Add any additional information you think may be
helpful and/or necessary.
An entry for a book should include the title, author, publisher, edition
number, date of publication, and ISBN.
When You Quote a Source
You may directly quote a few small passages from your sources.
In this type of report, it is seldom appropriate to quote a long passage
from a source, or a large number of small passages. It is definitely
not appropriate to closely paraphrase a long passage from a source.
You must place quotation marks ("") around all direct
quotes. You must also indicate, in close proximity to the quote itself,
which reference you are quoting, and where to find the quote within the
reference. You can use an in-line comment or a footnote to identify the
location of the quote.
For example, if you number the references in your reference list like
 Comer, "Computer Networks and Internets, Second Edition,"
Prentice Hall, 1999, ISBN 0-13-083617-6.
 Sobell, "Unix System V: a practical guide, Third Edition,"
Benjamin Cummings, 1995, 0-8053-7566-X.
Then you can identify the location of a quote with a simple in-line
comment like this:
As Comer states on page 158 of : "To achieve high bit rates over
conventional twisted pair wiring, ADSL uses an adaptive technology in
which a pair of modems probe many frequencies on the line between them
- Transitive Verb:
- To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as
- To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from
- Intransitive Verb:
- To put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of
Do not plagiarize any part of your written report or oral presentation.
If there is compelling evidence of plagiarism, I will withhold credit.
I will make course documents available on the world wide web. To access the
on-line CS 4960 materials, you can open the URL:
There is also a miscellaneous collection of information that you may want to
use from time to time. It is located here: