Seminar in Computer Science (CS 4960)
CLASS INFO FROM SCHEDULE:
20480 CS 4960 001 Seminar in Computer Science 1.0 Th 15:30-16:30 P-114
INSTRUCTOR: John Sarraillé, Professor of Computer Science
Professional Schools Building (aka DBH), Cal State Stanislaus
(The first day of scheduled office hours is Tuesday, January 28, 2014 and
the last is Wednesday, May 14, 2014.)
- Tuesdays 09:30-11:30
- Wednesdays 10:00-13:30
- or ask me for an appointment at a time that works for you
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 the presentation date I assign at the beginning of the semester.
- 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
- I expect the presentation to be different from any other, including
those given in other courses.
- Propose a topic (use
the e-mail form interface).
The proposal must include:
- an abstract of between 80 and 120 words, which describes
the nature of the scholarly content that you will include in
- full citations, in proper form, of multiple reliable sources (at
least two) from which you intend to draw. For details about proper
form for citations see "Your List of References" and "When
You Make Direct Use of a Source" below.
- To pass the course, your proposal must be satisfactory You
must get my formal approval of the proposal by working out
an agreement with me, which may mean that you will have to perform a
series of revisions to your proposal. 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 one copy to me, and a copy to each member of the class, so
that all members can review the information before the talk. Your report
must be double-spaced, have wide margins, and have a font size of
12 or greater. You must deliver a hard copy to me no later than one week
before your presentation. You will have the option of either giving each
member of the class a hard copy, or sharing with the class a link to a
PDF version published via the CS Department web server. The Department
will help you make your written report available to the class at no cost
to you. Ask me for additional details.
- On your assigned date, deliver an oral presentation of the content of
your written report. I will publicly announce seminar presentations.
They will be open to visitors who may wish to attend. You must
speak for no less than 45 minutes and no more than 50 minutes. If not,
you will have to repeat the presentation in order to get credit for the
course. (To insure that your presentation goes well, it is essential
that you rehearse it.) We will use the remainder of the
60-minute class session for questions, answers, and, in some cases, for
the transition time between a first and second presentation.
- Attend all the presentations of the other members of the class. React to
the presentations by asking questions and by filling in
which I will collect after the presentation, record, anonymize, and give
to the presenter. During the semester, each student must
ask (out loud) presenters at least three documented
questions, and receive their answers. Students will document
questions by (accurately) writing the questions and answers on a
Assuming you fulfill all the requirements listed above, I will base your grade
on four components:
Each of the components above will get equal weight.
- the quality of your efforts during the topic selection and topic proposal
- your grade on your written report,
- your grade on your oral presentation, and
- your participation grade.
To a significant degree, I will judge all work on the extent to which you
follow directions, meet deadlines, and observe time
In addition, I'll grade your topic selection and proposal based on their
quality; 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 component.
You'll get one participation credit for each time you attend a presentation
and turn in an acceptable feedback form. I'll compute your number of
satisfactory feedback forms as a percentage of the number possible, and this
percentage will be your participation grade (unless your total number of
documented questions is less than three).
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 four components, and
- your average over the four 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 and
edition number, author, publisher, 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 title of the article, the name(s) of the author(s) of
the article, the page numbers where the article appears (or, if you
read the article online and page numbers are not available, the full
URL of the article), the title of the periodical in which the
article appeared, the date of publication of the issue of the
periodical in which the article appeared, and the name of the editor
of the issue of the periodical in which the article appeared.
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 articles
from scholarly periodicals, citable as described above,
of high quality, and published no more than five years ago.
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:
Then you can identify the location of a quote with a simple in-line
comment 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.
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,
in the manner I deem appropriate, including the possibility of assigning
a failing grade to the offender.
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: