DCS891A Research Seminar 1

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Leedy and Ormrod, Practical Research (9th Edition), Pearson 2010, ISBN 013715242.
Strunk and White, The Elements of Style (4th Edition), Longman 2000, ISBN 020530902X.

Other recommended but not required books

This is the first of a series of five research seminars, see Research Seminars. This seminar introduces the student to what research in computing and information technology is about. Faculty and/or invited researchers will make presentations of their own or of others' research. Students will be given material to read in advance of the presentations, and are expected to participate in discussions about the essence and context of the research. This semester we focus on the traditional dissertation process, and next semester we focus on the agile DPS dissertation process.

Because writing clearly is an important part of the dissertation process, we briefly review the small Strunk and White book, The Elements of Style. This book has been criticized by professional editors and copywriters, see for example recent criticism. Nevertheless, we continue to use it because it's a classic, and despite the criticism, it's the only book of its type that's pretty much a prose work, something people can just read through.

Course Website:
An extensive course website presents all the course information (Blackboard is used only for quizzes). Links in the left menu area are to:

Classroom etiquette: please turn cell phones off during class time.

Graded Events and Grade Scale

Quizzes: Five quizzes, each with a 30-minute time limit, are to be taken via Blackboard. The quiz questions are based on the readings and are not difficult if you have read the material. You see the entire quiz, questions can be answered in any order, and answers can be changed before final submission. The quizzes are designed not only to check that you read the assignments but also to increase your capability of quickly processing and comprehending reading material. All quizzes must be attempted and at least half of the total quiz points achieved.

Individual Assignments 1-4

In order to be fair to those students who complete the course in a timely manner, our 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
Quizzes on Readings 100 points
Assignment 1 100 points
Assignment 2 100 points
Assignment 3 100 points
Assignment 4 100 points
Total 500 points

Grade Scale: 500 points = 100%
Grade Assigned Score Definition
A  93-100% 465 or more points Dominates the Material
A-  90-93% 450-464 points Masters the Material
B+  87-90% 435-449 points Good Understanding
with Flashes of Stellar Work
B  83-87% 415-434 points Good Understanding
B-  80-83% 400-414 points Aptitude for the Subject
Less than 80%
below 400 points Weak for Graduate Work