CMSC 634: Empirical Research Methods for Computer Science
Instructor Adam Porter
What is this class about?
This course will introduce graduate students to the practice of
research. Students will learn basic methods for reading technical
papers, selecting research topics, devising research questions,
planning research, and synthesizing broader theories.
The course will be structured around three activities: lectures on
basic concepts of research strategy and techniques, discussions of
technical papers, and preparation and review of written
assignments. Significant reading, reviewing, and writing will be
required, and students will be expected to participate actively in
Who should take this course?
This class is intended to introduce students to the theory and
practice of conducting research in computer science. Consequently, I
will not assume nor require that students have any specialized
background in research methods before taking this class.
How does this course meet graduation requirements?
This course will count towards the various comprehensive exam requirements.
Class requirements will primarily be a final exam, active class
participation (including at least one presentation), and a research project.
The results of the research project will be captured in a publishable-quality
- Oliver, J. (1991). The Incomplete Guide to the Art of Discovery.
Columbia University Press. 0-231-07620-7. (208 pages). [ PDF]
- David Martin, Doing Pschology Experiments (6th ed.), Wadsworth Publishing. (Look
for a used copy. It's expensive!)