CSC 400 Graduate Problem Seminar

Ganesh: A deity for researchers.


Course: CSC 400 Graduate Problem Seminar
Instructor: Randal C. Nelson
Time: WF 11:00 - 12:15
Room: CSB 632


This course is intended to provide first year graduate students with an introduction to the faculty and research programs in the department, and supply a hands-on introduction to various issues that arise in computer science research.

A significant component of the course will revolve around various projects that may be "impossible", in the sense that good solutions are not known

There will be a set of team system building efforts. These will be described more full later, but will consisting of the following goals:

Team members will regularly present project progress the the rest of the class during semi-formal discussion sessions, where team understanding, approaches and progress, will be critiqued, and potentially modified. Teams will also prepare weekly written reports

There will also be individual final projects drawn from problems proposed by the faculty (or possibly senior graduate students) that provide the opportunity to get involved in ongoing research in the department, and try out potential research relationships with faculty.

A second component of the course consists of guest lectures by researchers in the computer science department. The course may also address issues in proposal writing and evaluation.

Attendance is mandatory. Participation in critique sessions is an essential part of the experience, as is attendance at guest lectures. There may be 5-minute "easy" quizzes on material occuring in the previous class as a means of documenting attendance and attention. This could include the content of unscripted discussions.

This course is sometime refered to as "graduate boot camp". It should not be undertaken lightly. It is expected to be a significant amount of work. Research is that way. It is also likely to be the first course where the professor is not providing material and answers, or detailed instructions. That is also how research is. If it's your bag however, it could be a bit of fun in addition to a lot of work, and you will learn a lot (not all of it technical knowledge).


Course Text Books

There are no required texts. However, the following are interesting and relevant reading, in whole or in part.


Some combination of:
Attendance/quizzes, class participation, presentations, project reports, project accomplishments.
As a first approximation, 20% each.

The contents of the following may be expected to change regularly.