CSC 170
Homework 4 and 5

HW4 assigned Feb 22, due Feb 27

HW5 assigned Mar 5, due Apr 23

Homework 4 is a research proposal. Choose either a current issue involving computer science, telecommunications, and their interaction with the Real World, or a topic from your own major that requires referring to the existing literature in your field. Your proposal should not only specify what question(s) you're trying to answer, but also list some of the sources you'll use; show me that you've already done some research and given it some thought. The proposal may be presented in Word format, HTML, RTF, or plain text: I'm not interested in the formatting, but in what you plan to research. Homework 4 will not be accepted late! I need it on time so I can read the proposals and approve or disapprove them before you get started on homework 5.

Homework 5 (once I've approved your research proposal) is to present your research in three forms:

Attach to your research paper an annotated bibliography: don't just list your sources, but also tell me how reliable you think they are, and why, and what innate bias you would expect them to have. Be sure to use some sources that are not on the Web, i.e. books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Bibliography citations must be in MLA, APA, ACM, or another standard form appropriate to the topic.

Your research paper must be submitted through turnitin, using the “Homework 5” assignment in Moodle. (turnitin will check that your paper hasn't previously been turned in by some other student at some other school, and keep yours on file so if somebody in the future tries to turn your work in as their own, they'll be caught.)

If you choose to use PowerPoint or something like it for your presentation, beware of “reading the slide aloud”: if you have nothing more to say than what's on the screen, the audience gets the feeling you're treating them like children. Instead, the slides should have brief, memorable bullet points, which you expand on in your oral presentation. As a rule of thumb, I can seldom get through more than one slide per minute, so aim for 5-10 slides.

The Web site is different: since it'll be seen by people who aren't simultaneously hearing your voice, it must contain all the information you want them to get. On the other hand, while a PowerPoint presentation is given in a particular order from start to end, people can explore a Web site in many different orders; it should be designed to make sense no matter in what order people follow the links.

Note that you only need to do the research once, and present it with three different technologies.

While you're researching, think about the following questions:

Homework assignments 4 and 5 together will be worth 20% of your semester grade, but most of that is homework 5. The only reason for homework 4 is to make sure you get started on the project more than a few days before it's due :-)

Last modified:
Stephen Bloch /