Give the students the basic and necessary knowledge on how to plan and do research in their higher education and in a research oriented program.

Learning Outcome:

The students will be able to
1- Explain research, research methodologies, research in Computer Science;
2- Select a research subject and conduct a research project;
3- Write technical reports, papers, thesis, proposals effectively;
4- Give a good presentation;
5- Read and review a technical paper properly;
6- Explain professional ethics: credit, conflict of interest, misconduct in science

Useful links:


1- How to do research :

General tips: How to do Research at the MIT AI Lab

Basic Research Skills in Computing Science

What is Research in Computing Science

Alan Bundy, Ben du Boulay, Jim Howe and Gordon Plotkin, The Researchers’ Bible(How to survive a PhD)

Chris Johnson,What is Research in Computing Science?

Ten Simple Rules for Starting a Research Group Yolanda Gil Information Sciences Institute and Department of Computer Science University of Southern California

2- How to write your thesis, a paper, a report, a proposal

Luca Aceto, All you ever wanted to know about writing or refereeing papers, and giving talks, but you never dared to ask

Peter Wenderoth, Professor of Psychology, Macquarie University, How to write a scientific research paper

Alan Bundy, Ben du Boulay, Jim Howe, Gordon Plotkin, The Researcher’s Bible, 1989

3- How to give a presentation

Simon Peyton Jones, How to give a good research talk

4- How to review a paper

Alan Jay Smith, The Task of the Referee

Ian Parberry, A guide for new referees in TCS

5- Ethics: Credit, conflict of interest, misconduct in Science


Invited Lectures:  We will invite guest lecturers to give talks on the following subject, the precise schedule and plan will be built during the semester. The subjects are: writing proposals (Mousavi?), interesting PhD and PostDoc experiences (Hojat?), interdisciplinary research, research and industry (Khosravi?), experimental research, web presence, ethics (Aceto?) …

Student work and evaluation:

– Each student chooses a small research problem. Finding a proper subject is the student’s responsibility. Preferably the research shall be supervised by one of the faculty members at our school. You may choose your MSc thesis subject for this course.
– Students will prepare a short report (v0) on the research subject, and give a 5-minute presentation. Students will get comments and feedback from other students and the teacher.
– There will be two other reports (v1 and v2) and two 20-minute presentations on the same subject by each student.
– Each student will be in charge of two other students, and has to provide a written evaluation for their reports and presentations.
– In addition to the above work on the research subject, each student will review 2 papers and we will discuss it in the class.

The evaluation is based on:
– the active collaboration in the class and discussions (including grading the presentations) (20%),
– the research reports (40%),
– the presentations (5% + 10% + 5%), and
– the review and evaluation reports (including the paper reviews plus the evaluation of students reports) (20%)

Tentative Schedule:

Week 1
– Introduction to the course
L2 – Writing
Assignment: Find a subject for your research (report + presentation) – Due: L3

Week 2
L3 – Giving Presentations
L4 – Reviewing papers
Assignment: Prepare Report V0 and your 5-minute presentation – Due L5,
Paper 1 to review (I give you a review format) – Due L9
Deliver: Subject of your research on L3

Week 3
– Students 5-minute Presentations
L6 – Students 5-minute Presentations
Students evaluate and grade the presentations.
Assignment: Prepare Report V1 – Due L11, Presentation V1 – Due L13
Deliver: Report V0 and slides for 5-minutes presentations on L5

Week 4
L7 – Continue on writing
L8 – Continue on writing

Week 5
L9 – Continue on writing, discuss your research work and first review
L10 – Continue on writing, discuss your research work and first review
Assignment: Paper 2 to review – Due L19
Deliver: Review of Paper1 on L9

Week 6
L11 – Invited Lecture
L12 – Invited Lecture
Assignment: Evaluate report V1 of other students – Due L15
Deliver: Report V1 on L11

Week 7
L13 – Student V1 Presentations- 20-minute
L14 – Student V1 Presentations – 20-minute
Deliver: Presentation V1

Week 8
L15 – Week 8 No Class
L16 – Week 8 No Class
Assignment: Prepare report V2- Due L23, Presentation V2 – Due L25
Deliver: Evaluation of report V1 of other students on L15

Week 9
– Discuss Students reports V1
L18 – Discuss Students reports V1

Week 10
L19 – Invited
Lecture L20 – Invited Lecture
Deliver: Paper 2 review on L19

Week 11
L21 – Invited
Lecture L22 – Invited Lecture
Assignment: Evaluate Report V2 – Due L25

Week 12
L23 – Invited Lecture
L24 – Discuss review of Paper 2
Deliver: Report V2 on L23

Week 13
L25 – Student Final Presentations- 20-minute
L26 – Student Final Presentations- 20-minute
Deliver: Evaluation of Report V2 of other students on L25

Week 14
L27 – Student Final Presentations- 20-minute
L28 – Student Final Presentations- 20-minute

Week 15

List of deliverables:

W2-L3 Subject of your research
W3-L5 Report V0
Presentation V0

W5-L9 Review of Paper 1
W6-L11 Report V1
W7-L13 Presentation V1
W8-L15 Evaluation of report V1 of other students
W10-L19 Review of Paper 2
W12-L23 Report V2
W13-L25 Evaluation of Report V2 of other students
W13-L25 Presentations V2
W14-L 27 Presentations V2

Topics covered in each session:

Introduction, Writing a paper/report
Giving presentations
Reviewing papers
Student Discussion on report writing and reviewing and presentation
Student Presentations
Tentative (by invited talks):
Writing proposals
Writing thesis
Experimental research
Research and Industry

Description of your assignment: Report 1 (v0)

In this version of your report, we just want to know about the subject that you have selected. Try to make it clear the research question that you´ve decided to answer: what is the question? Why is it important? What is your motivation for tackling this problem? Who will possibly help you in this research?

Description of your assignment: Report 2 (v1)

In this version of your report, try to stick to the research paper format, or a technical report, but you can have  long sections on introduction and background. Make sure to explain the motivation, to place your work among others, and to put enough material on the background knowledge such that all  the class can understand the report better.

So, in this stage we just want to make sure that you know the problem well, you know the motivations, and you have read and understood the literature properly. The sections on the actual work may be very short in this stage.

We will move towards a more standard research-paper structure in your final report.

Even in the final report we do not expect all the students to have a solid solution for their research problem. Some of you are working on this problem in the context of an independent study course, or a project of another course, some may be PhD students, and some have this project just as a project of this course. The amount of work we expect from the students who are doing this project only in the context of this course will be reasonable. The best option is to choose the same subject you have for your MSc or PhD thesis.

The evaluation is based on the estimation of your effort and your progress, and how far you could proceed in building the ability of dealing with an unknown problem, doing research and writing a research paper.

Description of your assignment: Final Report (v2)

In your final report  we will move towards a more standard research-paper structure.

You can keep (or add) long enough sections on introduction including a well-explained motivation, and background knowledge,
Now, you can explain your own work and results better than before. Don’t think too much of the page limit. Your page limit is 20 LNCS style pages. Find the style file and use it:

This is a good exercise to follow a standard style.