CMSC 634: Empirical Research Methods for Computer Science

Essentials Announcements Syllabus and Assignments Books, Policies and other Administrivia Course Project

Essential Course Info

Instructor Vibha Sazawal
Time Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Place CSIC 2118
Office HoursTuesday and Thursdays, 2-3 PM. Also by appointment. 4113 avw.
Emailvibha at cs (include [634] in your subject line)


Tentative Syllabus and Assignments

WeekTopicReading and Assignments
Sep 1st, 3rdIntro, scientific method. Read Ch 1, 2 of DPE.
Sep 8th, 10thExperimentation and more experimentation.Read Chapters 4, 7-10 of DPE. Form project groups, meet with project clients. Prepare project milestone proposal, due Sep 17th. Assignment 1 out, due Sep 15th.
Sep 15th, 17thEthics, IRB. Paper writing. Read Chapter 6 of DPE. Read handout on paper writing, example IRB application, example exempt IRB application. IRB application for your project due on September 29th. If relevant to your project, read DPE pgs. 212-226 on survey research.
Sep 22nd, Sep 24th.Quantitative Data Analysis (I). Read Chapter 12, DPE. Project Milestone 1, due October 6th.
Sep 29th, Oct 1st.Quantitative Data Analysis (II). Read Kitchenham et al., Vicente and Torenvliet.
Oct 6th, 8th.Quantitative Analysis III: t-tests, one-way ANOVA.Read MCP.
Oct 13th, 15th.Quantitative Analysis IV: Two-way ANOVA, Correlation, Non-parametric tests. Assignment 2 out, due start of class on October 20th. Project Milestone 2 due October 27th.
Oct 20, 22nd.Measuring Computer Performance, More on proportions and binomial distribution, Dyninst, Dyninst example Assignment 3 out, due November 5th.
Oct 27th, 29th.No class (Vibha at OOPSLA).
Nov 3rd, Nov 5th.Measuring Computer Performance II. Issues in Java Performance Measurement.Reading Blackburn et al. and Georges et al.
Nov 10th, 12th.Ethnography, Contextual Inquiry, Narrative Interviewing.Read Tang and Carpendale, Chong and Hurlbutt, and Ko.
Nov 17th, 19th.Qualitative Data Analysis, 15 minute talks on qualitative research in class. Feedback on talks. Homework 3 handed back -- statistics and grading rubricRead Lin et al., Cherubini et al., Dabbish et al., and Teevan et al. Read project presentation guidelines and grading rubric.
Nov 24th, 26th.November 24th class time and location can be used for user studies if interested. Thanksgiving, no class.
Dec 1st, Dec 3rd.Qualitative Data Analysis II (Straussian grounded theory), Writing clinic. Writing Intros, More on writing.Bring 5 copies of your current paper draft to class on December 3rd. Project report due December 18th at 3:30 PM. Assignment 4 out, due start of class on December 8th.
Dec 8th, Dec 10th.Project Presentations. On Tuesday: Ruby and Bondbreaker. On Thursday: PII, Domain Names, and Eylul's Project. Talks should be at most 20 minutes long. Final exam handed out and due December 18th at 3:30 PM. Project paper also due on December 18th at 3:30 PM. For each, hand in a hard copy to me at my office in AVW 4113. If I am not there, slide your exam or project report under my door. Only one project report needed per group.