Seminar in Computer Science (CS 4960)
CLASS INFO FROM SCHEDULE:
20488 #CS 4960 001 Seminar in Computer Science 1.0 Th 16:00-17:00 P-114
INSTRUCTOR: John Sarraille, Professor of Computer Science
Professional Schools Building (aka DBH), Cal State Stanislaus
(Office hours commence on Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 and end on Wednesday May 21, 2008.
- Mon, Tue, Wed & Thu 12:45-2:00, or
- by appointment
There will be no office hours on fridays, holidays, or Spring Break.)
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.
- Accept a presentation date assigned by the instructor at the beginning of
- Choose a computer science topic to research and present to an audience.
The audience will include, but not be limited to, the other members of
- The topic must have significant scholarly, as opposed to
merely technological, content.
- The research must draw on multiple sources, and embody
concepts that may be expected to endure beyond any particular
- Propose the topic to the instructor (e-mail). The proposal must
specify multiple reliable sources (at least two) from which you intend to
draw. Include full citations in bibliograpic form: for details about the
required form for citations see "Your List of References" and
"When You Make Direct Use of a Source" below. Your proposal
must also describe the nature of the scholarly content you will
include in your presentation.
- To pass the course, you must turn in a satisfactory proposal. You
must get the instructor's formal approval of the proposal by
working out an agreement with the instructor. Your presentation
must correspond to the agreed-upon proposal.
- Create a balanced and unbiased written report on your topic. Base it on a
variety of solid sources, including the ones you listed in your approved
proposal. 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 - what you think, feel, and wonder about it. What
interesting questions did your research answer? What interesting
questions remain unanswered?
- 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 that all members can review the information before the talk.
Reports must have wide margins, be double spaced, and use a font
of size 12 or greater.
- 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 credit (a grade of "CR") for 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
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.
Your List of References
Make a list of references. In the list, cite all your sources of
information whatever be their form: written word, audio, image, video,
material artifact. Attach the list to the end of your written report.
The references in a list are always numbered or tagged in some way so
that you can specify exactly which one you mean when you speak or write
Each item in your list of references is a guide to your reader.
The reader may want to examine your source material. You must
describe each of your sources so that the reader will be able to find a
copy of the source as easily as possible.
Here are some specific rules for citing a book, article, or web page:
- An entry for a book must include the title,
author, publisher, edition number, date of publication, and ISBN.
Some books are on-line. For example, many books that are in the
public domain are on-line. If you accessed the book on-line then you
must also cite the full URL.
- An entry for an article in a periodical must
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.
- If you want to use a web page as a reference, rule 1 or rule
2 may apply. If not, then you must diligently search the web
page and the appropriate related pages (e.g. a link to "home" or
"about us") for the following information: author, date the page was
last updated, date you viewed the page, the full URL, and any
additional information you think may help your reader find the
information and/or get an idea of its quality. The URL should be
"stable." If it appears that the page will only be available
temporarily, then it is not appropriate to use it as a source.
Citations for other forms of writing, audio, video, images, and
artifacts should be made along the same lines.
for a great deal of very useful additional information.
Restrictions on Sources:
Two of your sources must be either book(s) or article(s),
citable as described above.
WHEN YOU MAKE DIRECT USE OF A SOURCE
Direct use of source text means direct quotation or close
paraphrase. The term also applies to other kinds of "art." For
example, if you insert an image from one of your sources into your work,
that is direct use of a source. If you slightly modify or copy
someone's art and then insert it into your work, it is still considered
In the type of writing you are assigned to do for this class, it is
permissable to make limited direct use of source material.
However, it is very seldom appropriate to make extended direct use of
For example, it is seldom appropriate to quote or paraphrase a long
passage of text from a source. It is seldom proper to include copious
numbers of diagrams and images from source material.
You must include acknowledgement with each direct use of a
You must place quotation marks ("") around any text that
you copy directly (quote) from a source.
You must place the acknowledgement in very close proximity to the
place in your writing where you have used the source. The
acknowledgement must indicate which source you used and where to
find the material within the source. You may use an in-line comment or
a footnote to identify the location.
For example, if you number the items in your reference list like this:
 Comer, Douglas E. 1999. Computer Networks and Internets, 2nd
ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-083617-6.
 Sobell, Mark G. 1995. Unix System V: a practical guide, 3rd
ed. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley. ISBN 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
DEFINITION: To Plagiarize
- 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
If you make direct use of a source without acknowledgement, then you are
Do not plagiarize any part of what you write
for this class, or what you present visually or orally.
If there is compelling evidence of plagiarism, I will withhold credit.
NETWORK AVAILABILITY OF COURSE MATERIALS:
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: