CPS 300
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Administrative Details:

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Instructor: Alex Hartemink
(919) 660-6514
Location: LSRC D106
Time: TR (Tuesday and Thursday) 3:50-5:05

Class Schedule:

The online class schedule is kept regularly updated. Check it out to see what's coming up!


Welcome to CPS 300.  The purpose of this course is to prepare you to do excellent research in computer science during your time here at Duke (and beyond).  We will concentrate primarily on three important aspects:

  1. How does one identify excellent research in computer science when one sees it?
  2. How does one conduct excellent research in computer science?
  3. How does one effectively communicate excellent research in computer science?

A secondary purpose of the course is to introduce you to various faculty members associated with the department and hear from them about the research they are doing at Duke as well as examples of excellent research in their respective fields.

In order to best learn about how to conduct research and communicate results, you will work on a real live (but small) research project during the course of the semester.  Much of our class time will be organized in a workshop format so that you can learn in an interactive way about the various steps in the research process as you do them.  Other class periods will be devoted to faculty and graduate student panels whom you will be able to pepper with all your probing questions about research in the department.


Your grade will be determined on the basis of two major components:

  1. your research project and all the deliverables associated with its successful completion [80%]
  2. your regular attendance of and participation in the course sessions [20%]

The largest component is clearly the project, but this is a combination of many subcomponents: the elements before fall break which are done in larger teams will be 1/3 of the project grade, the elements after fall break done in smaller teams will be 2/3 of the project grade. Since this course is more concerned with developing skills of excellent planning, evaluation, writing, and presentation in comparison with other courses (which concentrate more on research results), the project grade will weigh those elements more heavily than the actual results of the project research. In particular, you should note that your evaluations of other teams' work will be a portion of your grade and you should take care when completing those.