DCS860A Emerging Info Tech I - Fall'02

Instructor: Chuck Tappert    Email: ctappert@pace.edu    Website
Graduate Assistant: Sachin Shetty

This course covers a variety of emerging information technology topics that generally fall within the area of Pervasive Computing, but selected so as not to duplicate topics from the concurrent seminars or from the first year's course material. Topics covered include the technological life cycle, small computing devices (handheld and wearable computers), communicating with machines in human modalities (voice, handwriting, and natural language applications), wireless communication, and pattern recognition. The course goals are to understand the technological life cycle, the emerging information technologies, their issues and potential impact, and to write a team project proposal (basically a dissertation proposal) and an individual research paper (possibly the background material for a dissertation) relating to an emerging information technology. Although we cover many topics, each year we emphasize one more than the others, and this year's emphasis is on Natural Language Processing (NLP).

This course uses an extensive course Website to present the course information: course requirements and grading system, current grades, syllabus, negotiated options, student and team information, and links to websites, to papers in PDF, and to related conferences and exhibits.

This course provides many opportunities to learn about the emerging information technologies, and particularly those areas requiring further research that could become a dissertation topic. The guest speakers will bring you to the frontier of current work in their areas of expertise and present possibilities for further work. Many of Kendall's chapters included future research possibilities. The course assignments also provide other opportunities to investigate topics for potential dissertation work.

Emerging Information Technologies, Kendall (Editor), Sage (1999), ISBN 0761917497
Speech and Language Processing, Jurafsky and Martin, Prentice (2000), ISBN 0130950696

Other recommended but not required books

Graded Events and Grade Scale

The following graded events and grade scale were set up to accommodate students taking the course for either 2 or 3 credits. Note that the possible points attainable exceeds the 100% level of 1000 points for 2 credits or 1500 points for 3 credits.

Ten quizzes (each with 20 minute time limit) to be taken via Blackboard (previously called CourseInfo). The quizzes are designed not only to check that you read the assignments but, more importantly, to increase your capability to quickly process and comprehend IT material. The student receiving the highest quiz score total will receive a prize at the end of the semester.

A team assignment that can be any team produced product related to emerging information technologies. The deliverable for most of these team assignments will be in the form of a 10-20 page Word-for-Windows document, and you should spend about 10 hours per team member on this assignment.
   One possibility is a proposal for government funding that relates to emerging information technology. A proposal for funding is basically the same as a dissertation proposal so this will give you practice with proposal writing as a team, which may be easier than writing one individually. This assignment may also uncover topics and ideas for dissertations. For details see Team Project Proposal.
   Since basically all DPS dissertations are related to emerging information technologies, another possibility is a team-generated dissertation idea paper or proposal, where a dissertation proposal is an expanded idea paper. This will also give you practice with proposal writing as a team. For other possibilities, please obtain instructor's approval.

An individual research paper, in the form of a 10-20 page Word-for-Windows document, on one of the course's emerging information technology topics. You should spend at least 20 hours on this assignment. The purpose of this requirement is to give you the learning experience of researching a topic and writing a technical paper with appropriate references. And perhaps more importantly, a research paper could serve as background material for a dissertation, be expanded into a dissertation, or get you started to think about dissertation possibilities. Ideally, you should design the research paper to become the early chapters (background, state-of-the-art, etc.) of your dissertation. If you are having difficulty finding a suitable topic for your research paper, I have listed some Research Paper Possibilities.

There are a variable number of instructor negotiated options. Possibilities include: product evaluation, research paper, presentation, etc. Each option item and its value (number of points) are to be negotiated with your instructor. These can be individual projects, two-person projects, team projects, etc. Of course, the more people involved the better the expected product. The negotiated options allow students to pursue topics of their interest and to do so in the manner of their choosing. They not only provide additional points for those taking the course for three credits, but also provide an opportunity for students to obtain additional points to improve their grade. Note that the negotiated option points are limited to 100 points for those taking the course for 2 credits and to 600 points for 3 credits.

Finally, there is the instructor provided grade (IPG) for your individual class participation, contribution, positive influence, etc.

Incompletes: in order to be fair to those students who complete the course in a timely manner, my policy is to reduce the grade of those students taking an incomplete by a letter grade for each semester, or portion thereof, that the incomplete is in effect.

Graded Events
Event Possible points per person
Quizzes (10 * 20 points) 200 points (min 100)
Team Project Proposal 300 points (min 200)
Individual Research Paper 500 points (min 400)
Instructor Negotiated Options variable (max 100 2cr, 600 3cr)
Instructor Provided Grade (IPG) variable (avg 25, max 50)
Totals 2 credits: max 1150 points
3 credits: max 1650 points

Grade Scale
1000 points (1500 for 3 credits) = 100%
Grade Assigned Score Definition
A  93-100% 2 credits: 930 or more points
3 credits: 1395 or more points
Dominates the Material
A-  90-93% 2 credits: 900-929 points
3 credits: 1350-1394 points
Masters the Material
B+  87-90% 2 credits: 870-899 points
3 credits: 1305-1349 points
Good Understanding
with Flashes of Stellar Work
B  83-87% 2 credits: 830-869 points
3 credits: 1245-1304 points
Good Understanding
B-  80-83% 2 credits: 800-829 points
3 credits: 1200-1244 points
Aptitude for the Subject
Less than 80%
2 credits: below 800 points
3 credits: below 1200 points
Weak for Graduate Work