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CSCD 555 Research Methods for Computer Science

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Presentation on theme: "CSCD 555 Research Methods for Computer Science"— Presentation transcript:

1 CSCD 555 Research Methods for Computer Science
Lecture 1 Course Overview 1 1

2 Topics Goals of the Course Activities Your role My role Grades 2

3 Goals of this Course Overall, to learn how to do research in Computer Science More specifically …. To learn how to conduct literature reviews including critically reading papers, assessing their results and summarizing the results in a written form To learn how to pose a researchable question ... basically What constitutes a chunk of research at the Masters level? 3

4 Goals of this Course continued
To learn the difference between a project and a Thesis To learn how to write a publishable paper within the field of Computer Science. And, by extension, how to write a thesis or project report To learn how to use statistics to support your work 4

5 Activities to Support the Goals
Research Activities Conduct a Literature Review Define a Research Question Write a scientific paper Analyze some data sets and learn to use statistical software If there is time and interest Presentation of results 5

6 Conduct a Literature Review
Reading papers relevant to a topic you are researching What is a Literature Review? And, why do you do one? A literature review Surveys and summarizes scholarly research on your topic. It should critically evaluate and explain why the chosen articles are significant in relation to your research topic You use the results to better shape your research Knowing what others have done allows you to find the “gaps” in the knowledge where you can contribute 6

7 Come up with a Research Question
What constitutes a “doable” chunk of research? No hard and fast rules for this Guided by timeframe and ambition of researcher If you have 3 – 5 years to complete your project, you do more, ask harder questions If you have 1 – 2 years, you ask a smaller question Ultimately, your advisor guides you on the extent of your problem, but it should ideally be your idea 7

8 Masters vs. PhD Masters degree PhD Thesis: Learn to conduct research
Experiment, but doesn’t have to be original, could reproduce someone else’s work or extend it a small amount Project: Produce a significant piece of software or system PhD Needs to be original. Assume already know how to do research. Add to body of knowledge in a significant way. Exactly how and what depends on your committee. 8

9 Research in CS Computer Science Research includes diverse activities
Designing and building new computer systems, Proving mathematical theorems, Writing computer software, Measuring the performance of a computer system, using analytical tools to assess a design, Or studying the errors programmers make as they build a large software system Can also study users of systems as in Human Computer Interaction or Security Usability 9

10 Research in CS Researcher chooses activities appropriate to answer the questions that arises in a research investigation, New questions arise as an investigation proceeds, Research activities vary from project to project and over time in a single project A researcher should be prepared to use a variety of approaches and tools 10

11 Define a Research Question
The hardest part of the Masters degree!!! What am I going to do? We will explore steps to help you define your question A few of the questions you need to ask are on the next slide 11

12 Define a Research Question
What is the PROBLEM you are trying to solve? Or what is the research QUESTION you are trying to answer? Why is this problem/question worth solving/asking? Who would care? How have other people in the past tried to solve/answer it? What is your NEW approach to solving/answering this problem? Or what improvement are you making on an existing solution? 12

13 Write a scientific paper
We all need to practice writing Papers are a good way to practice your technical writing skills And, you may be able to publish them Good for your career either in academia or industry Everyone wants to hire people with “good communication skills” A paper demonstrates that you can at least write down your thoughts 13

14 Analyze Data sets with Statistical Software
For research problems, need to know how to analyze data Computer science research doesn’t always require statistical analysis Depends on the problem If collecting data as part of an experiment, may need to analyze the data Will look at courses available at EWU for further study on statistics 14

15 Present Results Will have chance to do
a presentation of your research topic Presentation skills are invaluable for everything you will do in the future Both non-academic job activities and academic If you can’t present your ideas, in a way that is understandable, no-one will care about them 15

16 Your Role You will actively participate in class
Contribute links and any other interesting material you think will help yourself or other students I am one person You are many and will likely discover resources that I have not encountered Try hard to investigate a topic you can use for your research 16

17 My Role Guide to the literature on Computer Science research
Show you helpful articles, a few books and other resources There are resources at other schools, from other professors and within the ACM/IEEE literature I have not written any of it … What qualifies me to guide you? I have done research in pursuit of both my Masters and PhD Somewhat qualifies me as a guide Will use other’s experience as well 17

18 Acing the Class Put in an honest effort
Do the assignments, contribute to the class Might not finalize a research topic by the end of the quarter But, you should try!! This is something you need to do anyway, and now you get graduate credit for it Should use this opportunity to practice writing skills before it really counts 18

19 Next time, See course web site. Some Links to Papers End 19

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