CSE 5400-E6 Topics in CS: Scientific Writing for CS Research

Fall 2008, MW 6:30-7:45pm, S402, CRN: 92772

Philip Chan
242 Engineering Complex, x7280

Office Hours: MW 1-3pm (or by appointment)
Course WWW Page: http://www.cs.fit.edu/~pkc/classes/writing/

This course focuses on how to write research papers scientifically at the level suitable for submission to refereed CS research conferences and journals. The audience of research papers is researchers in the corresponding research areas. The same level of writing is expected in theses and dissertations. The course is developed based on evaluation criteria commonly used by publications in CS and experience with papers written by students.

Students will be involved in analyzing writing samples as well as writing their own. The course takes a "bottom-up" approach: starting from explaining technical ideas clearly and precisely, then constructing and stating arguments of why the ideas are original and significant, and finally organizing the components of the paper coherently. The course will mostly consist of case studies, complemented with some writing guidelines/rules.

This course is NOT about writing specification/design documents or user manuals for computer software/hardware, which is generally known as "technical writing."


This course assumes basic writing skills and does not cover grammar, diction, style, and other language issues. It also assumes knowledge of, or ability of learning on your own, how to use word processing software. Naturally, it assumes proficiency in general CS concepts.

The course is open to CS students who are conducting research and writing about their research. This includes all PhD students; MS and BS students will need a note (email) to the instructor from a CS faculty member stating that you are conducting research and writing research papers or theses in CS. Additionally, BS students will need to satisfy Florida Tech's (GPA) requirements for taking a graduate course.


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Philip Chan, pkc AT cs DOT fit DOT edu
Last modified: Sat Aug 16 17:31:55 EDT 2008