95631 CSC 181A - 0
Advanced Research Topics in Computer Science
The Computer Science Lyceum (continued)

Fall 2002
Friday 3:00 pm - 5:40 pm , Kramer Science Center 102A
Herbert J. Bernstein (yaya@dowling.edu)



*** Warning, this course has been rescheduled from Wednesday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm to Friday 3:00 pm - 5:40 pm starting with the week of 9 September 2002 ***

This web page is http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/CSC181/CSC181_Syllabus.html
Copyright © 2002 Herbert J. Bernstein. All rights reserved.

This is the syllabus for CSC 181A for Fall 2002. As the course moves forward, students should return to this page frequently for updated material.

Catalog description:

CSC 181A/N, 182A/N Special Topics in Computer Science

3 credits

A special series in selected topics in Computer Science. Each course offering is specifically and originally designed by the instructor. In general, the special topics will focus on issues related to advanced undergraduate topics with a research component.
Prerequisite: CSC 071. Offered: 2001-2002.

Meets Fall 2002 as:

Advanced Research Topics in Comp Scienc ( 3.00 ) 95631 CSC 181A - 0
College: Arts & Sciences
Department: Math & Comp Science Department
Days Time Location Schedule Type Date Range
F 3:00 pm - 5:40 pm Kramer Science Center 102A Lecture Sep 04, 2002 - Dec 16, 2002


Office Hours:

*** Note: Office hours changed as of 9 September 02, due to changes in course assignments for the instructor ***

except no office hours before 1:30 pm on Friday, 13 Sep 02.

Note that, in general, the instructor will be at the Oakdale campus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at the Brookhaven campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If at all possible, please use email to schedule meetings in advance to avoid conflicts with other students and other obligations of the instructor.

For more information see http://www.bernstein-plus-sons.com/.dowling/HJB_Contact_Info.html.

Text and required materials:


Attendance will be taken at all class meetings. All absences must be explained in writing (or via email). Students who miss 2 or more lectures must meet with the instructor to review their progress in the course. Grades will be reduced for unexcused absences (see grading policy, below).

Grading Policy:

All work, except for the final examination, will be done in groups. All students will be required to participate actively in classroom discussions, and to present reports on the progress of their work. The final examination period will be used for a series of oral presentations of research efforts by students with probing questions from all present, including the instructor, students and other interested parties.

Course Objectives

Course Content

This is a course for students who are sufficiently advanced in Computer Science to pursue Computer Science research projects. It is a continuation of the Computer Lyceum course given in Spring 2002, but students with adequate preparation who did not attend that course will be admitted. The class will meet once a week on Wednesdays for 3 hours, in a mixed seminar/laboratory environment to talk, to learn, to teach, to experiment, to try things with computer hardware and software, to work on projects, to do research, to function in teams, to help one another, to try things on their own -- to become computer professionals by being computer professionals.

In this semester, students will build on basic research skills in two ways. They will continue on their own projects and the entire class will work with the instructor on a research project in molecular graphics, exploring space/time optimizations of the rendering of molecular surfaces.

Students will be expected to do a great deal of work outside of class meetings. All projects will involve extensive research in the literature and on the web. Some projects will require major software development. Some projects will require working with hardware. A lab has been set up in KSC 020 on the Oakdale Campus, which will be used for some meetings of the class.

The approach is that of a "Lyceum", in which all involved learn together through discussions. With the help of the instructor and other members of the class, each student is expected to select an area of Computer Science in which to address one or more meaningful research problems during the semester. Students will be introduced to techniques needed to find relevant literature to understand the current state of the problems chosen, to formulate a research plan to attempt to solve the problems chosen, and then to carry out their research plans in collaboration with the instructor and with one-another. Students will present their progress to the class throughout the semester and will be taught to publish the results of their efforts as technical reports, as web pages, as meeting posters, as talks and as scientific papers. It is hoped that many of the projects will produce useful and interesting solutions to the problems undertaken. However, even negative results are worth discussion and analysis and will require a report by the student.

The approach taken will be highly collaborative and will emphasize team formation. In addition to investigation of the Computer Science research topics involved, students will take "personality inventories" of themselves, of their classmates and of the instructor and will explore workable combinations of personalities for research teams.

Grading will be based primarily (80%) on the effort and involvement of the students throughout the semester. Do not register for this course if you cannot attend faithfully. 20% of the grade will be based on grading of a project technical reports and/or web pages.

The course will require substantial collaborative effort. Students are expected to follow the highest standards of academic behavior in fully and accurately disclosing the sources for all their work and the extent of each person's involvement.

Students with a strong interest in a high level professional career in Computer Science are encouraged to take this course. Texts and readings will be individualized to fit the research interests of the students.

Readings will vary for different students, but all students will be required to read required texts and are advised to refer to the recommended text.

Other texts may be added as the course develops.

Additional Notes

Updated 9 September 2002.