CSCE 681: Graduate Seminar

CSCE 681: Graduate Seminar
Course Homepage
Spring 2018

Class Meeting:
Mondays and/or Wednesdays, 4:10-5:25pm, 124 HRBB

Course homepage:
Seminar Schedule:

Nancy Amato
office: 425H Harvey R. Bright Bldg
email: amato [at]
office phone: 979-862-2275

Lawrence Rauchwerger
office: 425E Harvey R. Bright Bldg
email: rwerger [at]
office phone: 979-845-8872

Special Announcements

Course Goals: The purpose of the course is to expose you to a broad range of current research topics in computer science and related fields. Every graduate student in the department must register for the seminar at least once during their graduate studies.

All graduate students are encouraged to attend as many seminars as possible, not only during the semester(s) during which they are registered. It is useful for you to attend even when the topic seems unrelated to your research - indeed, seminars provide the best way for you to round out your knowledge by exposing you to current research in areas that are not directly related to your own research.

Course Content and Schedule: This course consists of seminars which will be presented roughly once a week, on a monday and/or a wednesday. Generally, after the speaker is finished, there will be a question and answer period where the audience can ask any questions they might have that were not answered during the seminar. This is often quite interesting and is considered part of the seminar (so you should not leave until it is over).

The schedule will be continually evolving, but there will be a minimum of 14 seminars over the course of the semester. You are responsible for checking the seminar schedule on the web ( and your email (announcements will be sent to mailing list for all graduate students) for up to date information. Be sure to check each monday and wednesday as sometimes seminars will be announced/cancelled at the last moment.

Although you should reserve the entire scheduled time slot (4:10-5:25), in most cases the seminars will finish a few minutes early. If the speaker is not finished, or if the question and answer period is ongoing, you are expected to stay until the end, or until 5:25pm, whichever comes first. If this is a problem for you, then you should consider taking the seminar another semester as it is scheduled to go until 5:25pm.

If you are in the seminar, you are expected to pay attention and refrain from activities such as doing other work, reading the newspaper, surfing the web, or sleeping. Behavior such as this gives speakers a bad impression of our graduate program and students. Students noticed exhibiting such behavior will not receive credit for attending that seminar. Thus, if you are not interested in a particular seminar, then don't attend - and attend a make-up seminar instead.

Mechanics and Grading: To receive credit for this course you must satisfy all of the following requirements:

Paper Reports

To receive credit for a paper report, students should select a technical paper authored by the speaker, read it, prepare a report as outlined below, and submit it in to eCampus at least 10 minutes before the beginning of the associated seminar (usually by 4:00pm for a seminar that starts at 4:10pm). Note: Paper reports can only be done for CSCE 681 seminars and CSCE Distinguished Lectures.

The paper should be a full-length, technically rigorous paper that has appeared in (or are accepted to) a peer-reviewed conference or journal. As examples, full papers in IEEE IEEE or ACM Journals or Conferences would be appropriate, while posters, short papers, or papers published in magazines, such as Communications of the ACM or IEEE Spectrum, would NOT be appropriate.

The goal of the reports is to allow students to become familiar with the topic of the presentation prior to the presentation. This will enable them to better understand the talk and will give them time to formulate questions. Students are encouraged to discuss a given paper with other students in the course for better understanding of the paper content; each student, however, is required to write an independent paper report.

Each paper report will receive a grade of 1, 2 or 3. You must receive a grade of 2 or 3 on the paper report to receive credit for it towards the 6 required reports.

The paper report should be prepared using using a word processing system and be roughly 2 pages (single-spaced, at most 12 point font) in length. It must include the clearly labeled sections listed below:

Seminar Reports for CSCE 681 seminars

To receive credit for attending a regular CSCE 681 seminar (this includes distinguished lectures presented during the normal CSCE 681 time slot), students must prepare a short report of the seminar on a form that will be available in the classroom at the beginning of the seminar. The completed forms are due at the conclusion of the seminar (after the conclusion of the final question and answer session) and will be collected at the conclusion of the seminar.

Seminar Reports for Make-Up Seminars

Students will be allowed to make-up for up to 2 missed seminars by attending other relevant seminars. (Note, paper reports cannot be done for make-up seminars, only for regular CSCE 681 seminars.) A seminar report form must be completed for make-up seminars. In this case, the students should print out a copy of the form (available here) and should submit the completed seminar report to eCampus. These reports are due within 5 days of the seminar (e.g., on Wednesday for a seminar on Friday).

Seminars which are automatically approved are listed below. For other seminars, please see (or email) the instructor for approval.