In this course, students will learn the methodology behind experimental research in computer science. The course will cover topics such as planning a new research project, designing experiments, enabling repeatable research, and effectively presenting your results. It will also provide practice with the four skills critical to being an effective researcher: reading, writing, speaking, and thinking creatively.

Note that the course material and plans are subject to change!


There is no required textbook for the course. The instructor will provide a set of books and online resources.


Registration is restricted to CS Ph.D. students, but some masters or undergraduate students actively engaged in a research project may be allowed to take the course with the approval of their research advisor and the instructor. Students should be involved in a research project before the start of the course if possible. New Ph.D. students are particularly encouraged to take the course. Ph.D. students from related disciplines such as ECE may be considered if space allows.


The course will cover topics such as:

  • Reading technical papers
  • Proposing a project
  • Experiment design
  • Data processing, visualization, and statistics
  • Writing short and long documents
  • Giving short and long oral presentations


The course will not include any exams. Students will be expected to do substantial reading and writing, both within and outside of their field. Students will be expected to make progress on a research project throughout the semester, and will give a final writeup and presentation. A large part of your grade will be based on class participation!

Academic Honesty

All work submitted must be your own. This is especially important for written assignments – you may NOT submit text copy and pasted from any other source! Don’t do it! Ever!