Welcome to CS 4960, Seminar in Computer Science
Presentation and discussion of
selected topics in computer science from current literature.
- 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
- To present an important body of work in both written and oral
Announcements and Upcoming Events
Welcome to CS 4960!
Dr. Melanie Martin
Office: Demergasso-Bava Hall 278 and Naraghi 375
Office Phone: (209) 667-3787 or (209) 667-3269
3:00 – 4:00 pm DBH 278
Tuesday 1:00 – 2:00 pm
3:00 – 4:00 pm DBH 278
Thursday 2:00 – 4:00 pm
and by Appointment
Best way to contact Dr. Martin:
firstname.lastname@example.org Please put "CS4960" in the subject
line of the email.
standing and consent of the instructor. (This course is for senior
Computer Science majors.)
Warning: I reserve the right to make changes to the
syllabus at any time during the term by announcing them in class
and on my web page.
Grading and Policies
- Accept a presentation date assigned by the instructor 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 class.
- 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 current technology.
- 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 bibliographic 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
- 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
- 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.
Your report must
inlcude a reference page citing your sources, at least two of
which must be books or peer-reviewed journal articles. More information on proper citation
- On your assigned date deliver a 20-25 minute 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
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
You will 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
- your average over the three components is 70% or above.
(The above "course requirements"
and "grading" are borrowed liberally from Dr. John Sarraille's CS
4960 course description, with permission.)
Academic Honesty: The work you do for this course will be
your own, unless otherwise specified. You are not to submit other
people's work and represent it as your own. I consider academic
honesty to be at the core of the University's activities in
education and research. Academic honesty is expected at all times
in this course.
Cell Phone Policy: During class time, your cell phone is to
be turned off and out of sight. Any use of a cell phone during class
will result in confiscation of the phone until that day's class has
ended or your removal from the class for that day. If you attempt to
use your cell phone or leave it on during an exam, you will be
considered to have finished your test, and I will collect your exam
at that time. Exceptions may be made only if you discuss your
situation with me prior to the start of that day's class, in this
case, your cell phone must be set to vibrate/silence.
(See Schedule of
Courses or Academic Calendar)
Last day to add a
|Last day to drop or change
grade options (CR/NC):
March 18-22, April 1.