Fall 2009

CSC 3990 - Computing Research Topics

MW 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm in Mendel G88

Instructor: Dr. Tom Way
Office: 160A Mendel Hall
Phone: (610) 519-5033
Office hours:   M  12:00 - 1:00 pm
W  3:00 - 6:00 pm
Email: thomas.way@villanova.edu
Class email: Fall09-CSC-3990-001@villanova.edu
Gradebook: Login to WebCT


  • Due date for Literature Survey is November 11.
  • New assignment! Poster or Software Demo. See below.
  • Check below for upcoming mandatory class meetings.


Due Date What to Turn in References
Sept. 2 Research Web Site Samples (fall 2008)(fall 2007)
Sept. 9 Paper Summary Summary Guidelines
Helpful Feedback
Sept. 14 Topic Selection Sample
Outline of CS Topics
Sept. 16 Revised Paper Summary 
Sept. 23 Broad Bibliography IEEE Citation Style
Real Bad Examples
Oct. 2 No assignment due, but you must start on your Annotated Bibliography!  
Oct. 9 Annotated Bibliography
How To
Sample 1, Sample 2
Oct. 21, 26
or 28
Research Topic Presentation  
Nov. 11Literature Survey Example
Sample (no abstract at this point)
Dec. 2, 7 & 9Final Research Presentation See schedule below for the date and time of your presentation
Dec. 4Poster Presentation or Software Demonstration, for informal lunchtime research symposium in conjunction with Senior Projects posters.  
Dec. 9Finished Paper, including revision to your literature survey, with Conclusions section, and a Proposal or Experimental Results section Specifications
Examples of Successful Proposals
Examples of Experimental Results
Dec. 11Attendance at Reading Day research symposium in Software Engineering Lab  

Course Schedule

Date Topic, Activities References & Description
Week 1 - Aug. 24, 26 Overview
Research Topics

Syllabus (pdf)

NLP & Image Processing topics (ppt)
CSRS 2008 conference
What is Research?
Dangers of Poor Research or Prep
Week 2 - Aug. 31, Sept. 2 Plagiarism
Topic Selection
What Is
Interactive Quiz
Week 3 - Sept. 9 Technical Writing.
Literature Survey.
Writing a Paper
Writing Style (ppt)
Tips for writing technical papers
Top 10 tips for writing a paper
Week 4 - Sept. 14, 16
Attendance mandatory 9/16
Research Approaches &
Student Topic Discussion

9/16 - guest speaker, Edwin Guarin,
     Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research
Microsoft External Research (links)
Microsoft Surface Parody (video)
Life at Microsoft Parody (video)
Microsoft Future Vision (video)

Week 5 - Sept. 21, 23 Note: No class mtg 9/21
Approaches & Discussion (cont'd)
  Road Trip on Sept. 21?
University of Delaware
Computer Science Research Day
Optional road trip for students who are interested, and can safely miss other classes.
Week 6 - Sept. 28, Sept. 30
Attendance mandatory 9/30
How to Give a Good Presentation

Brief discussion of annotated bibliographies
Marie desJardins   slides
Simon Peyton   slides
Presentation Feedback Form
How to Give a Good Research Talk
File naming conventions
Week 7 - Oct. 5, 7 Literature Survey

What is

Week 8 - Oct. 12, 14 Fall Break, no class meetings  
Week 9 - Oct. 19, 21
Attendance mandatory 10/21
Literature Survey (cont'd)
Research Topic Presentations (10/21)
10 mins. each

10/21 schedule:

  • Cory Knobler
  • Kristin Raudonis
  • Gavin Hall
  • Kevin Berry
  • Casey Burkhardt
  • John Barthmaier
Week 10 - Oct. 26, 28
Attendance mandatory 10/26
Attendance mandatory 10/28
Research Topic Present's. (cont'd)

10/26 schedule:

  • Greg Francis
  • James Farwell
  • Jeremy Florence
  • Carmen Nigro
  • Allison Cohen (Nov. 11)

10/28 schedule:

  • Zach Horst
  • Eddie Orsi
  • Nate Singleton
  • Victoria Tran
  • Vinnie Veltri
  • Tim Vincent
Week 11 - Nov. 2, 4 Writing continuation


Week 12 - Nov. 9, 11
Attendance mandatory 11/11
Topics for discussion:
  • Writing Report Abstracts
  • Future Work & Conclusions
  • Poster Presentation
  • Software Demonstration

How To
Examples (Citeseer down?)

Week 13 - Nov. 16, 18
Attendance mandatory 11/18

Next steps for final paper
How to run a conference
How to create a research poster

Example proposals:
Guidelines for Interactive Mapping of the
  World Wide Web
Grading Tool Development and Analysis
Web Technologies
Data Object Storage System
Programming for Biologists

Conference organization
Running a Conference

Week 14 - Nov. 23 Final Paper Polishing
Preparation of posters
Preparation of software demos
Individual meetings only on Mon. 11/23, arrange with professor
No class meeting on Wed. 11/25
due to Thanksgiving break
Poster tutorial
Week 15

     Mon. Nov. 30
Attendance mandatory 11/30

Final Planning Day
Students should bring their materials to class for review and feedback by the professor.
     Wed. Dec. 2
Attendance mandatory 12/02
Final Research Presentations
Conference-style: 10+2 max
1:30-1:42  Cory Knobler
1:43-1:55  Casey Burkhardt
1:56-2:08  Gavin Hall
2:09-2:21  Kevin Berry
2:22-2:34  open slot
2:35-2:47  open slot
Week 16

     Mon. Dec. 7
Attendance mandatory 12/07

Final Research Presentations
Conference-style: 10+2 max
1:30-1:42  Greg Francis
1:43-1:55  James Farwell
1:56-2:08  Jeremy Florence
2:09-2:21  Carmen Nigro
2:22-2:34  Tim Vincent
2:35-2:47  Vinnie Veltri
     Wed. Dec. 9
Attendance mandatory 12/09
Final Research Presentations (cont'd)
(Note that there is no final exam, but we may need the final exam time for remaining presentations)
1:30-1:42  Victoria Tran
1:43-1:55  Allison Cohen
1:56-2:08  Eddie Orsi
2:09-2:21  Nate Singleton
2:22-2:34  Zach Horst
2:35-2:47  Kristin Raudonis

Fri. Dec. 11
Reading Day

Attendance highly

Poster Presentation or Software Demo

In conjunction with the Senior Projects, students should prepare a poster to present or software to demonstrate to share the fruits of our semester-long labors with others.


Software Engineering Lab &
Intelligent Systems Lab

Final Exam Period

     Tue. Dec. 15

Note: Any remaining final presentations during final exam period, 8:00-10:30am

Because this is a research- and writing-oriented course, there is no traditional written final exam. The completed research paper and final presentation serve as a culminating assessment.


Literature Reviews
Paper Formatting

Paper Refereeing

Technical Writing
Future Work


Online Resources

Having Fun with Technical Writing

Student Research Websites

Fall 2009:  CSRS 2009 conference Fall 2008:  CSRS 2008 conference

Fall 2007:  CSRS 2007 conference

Updated 12/18/09