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California State University Stanislaus
CS 4960 - 05: Seminar in Computer Science
Friday 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm, DBH 114, Dr. Megan Thomas
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 students,
- To present important bodies of work in oral form.
Announcements and Upcoming Events
Best way to contact Dr. Thomas:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Please put "CS4960" in the subject
line of every email. Email without the "CS4960" might be classified as spam by my
Remember to sign your emails (put your first and last name at the bottom).
Or simply stop by office hours.
Prerequisite: CS 4100, senior
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.
Course Requirements, Assignments
- On your assigned dates deliver twenty to twenty-five minute oral presentations
on your assigned topics. (Seminar presentations may be
publicly announced and will be open to visitors who may wish to attend.)
- Important: The talks must be at least twenty minutes.
Nineteen minutes and 59 seconds will be an automatic NC.
- A word-for-word script is not allowed. Students are not allowed to read from
a word-for-word paper script, nor read word-for-word off of their slides.
(A paper outline, containing only mnemonic words and short phrases, is fine.)
- In the second oral presentation, some of the presentation must explain technical
material using the whiteboard/blackboard, without the use of pre-made slides.
Work through an example, draw and explain a diagram, etc.
- Additional information about the oral presentations and accompanying
slides will be given in class.
- 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:
- your grade on your first oral presentation,
- your grade on your second oral presentation, and
- your participation grade.
Each of the components above will get equal weight.
I'll grade your oral presentations 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 two participation credits for each time you attend a presentation
and turn in an acceptable critique sheet.
You'll get one participation credit for each time you attend a presentation
and turn in an un
acceptable critique sheet.
I'll compute your number of
satisfactory critiques as a percentage of two times the number of credits,
and this percentage will be your participation grade. (If you show up late
for a presentation and interrupt the speaker, you will receive a half-credit
for that day.)
You will receive credit (a grade of "CR") for the course if
- you receive a a score of 60 or above in each of the three
- your average over the three components is 70% or above.
Otherwise you will receive no credit ("NC").
(The above "course requirements" and "grading" borrow liberally
from Dr. John Sarraille and Dr. Melanie Martin's CS
4960 course descriptions, with permission.)
The work you do for this course will be
your own, unless otherwise specified. You are not to submit other people's
(or any machine'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.
- "What if I show a video during my presentation?" : As long as copyright laws are properly obeyed (see me if you have a question about how to do that), fine by me. But I will turn off the stopwatch that is keeping track of the length of your talk while the video is playing. So 15 minutes of videos will not shorten your talk requirements by 15 minutes.
Research Topic and Public Speaking Information
- Finding good research papers
- Communications of the ACM
- ACM Queue
- AAAI.org has a digital library of artificial intelligence (AI) papers.
- ACM Digital Library is one of the best
places to find reputable papers on computing research topics. On campus,
all the papers are downloadable.
If off-campus, you will need to access it via the CSUS Library web site and enter
your student password.
- Usenix, and the conferences organized by
Usenix, have a good reputation in the systems, networking and security areas.
If your topic fits somewhere in there, you might check their conferences for material.
- Citeseer is a scientific technical research paper search engine --
not a good place to look for ideas, but perhaps a place to find relevant papers
after you have selected your topic.
- IEEE Computer and
- Google Research -
papers published by researchers working for Google Research. (If you can find a similar
list of research papers by computer science researchers working for Microsoft Research
or a similar research organization, please let me know about it.)
- Public speaking advice
- IASTED's Presentation Tips
- J. Gallian's advice on public
speaking for technical speakers, and on PowerPoint slides
- The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation.
(Norvig comments entertainingly on how he made
the Gettysburg presentation and some responses to it
"9 simple and effective public speaking tips for scientists", by Scientifica
News of Interest to CS majors near graduation