last updated: 14 February 2007

Lecture Notes and Other Useful Things

CM50175 -- Research Project Preparation

Useful Documents

Here is your 2007 version of the assignment

For the sake of transparency, here are last year's marks sheets (this year's will be the same): one your supervisor will fill in and and another your lecturer (I) will.  Each of the supervisor's questions is worth 50/3 points, each of mine is worth 50/5 points, so overall your supervisor & the lecturer contribute to your mark equally.

Here's the 2007 Dissertation Document from Dr. Willis.

You may also want to read Bath's official guidelines (that's a PDF file).  The dissertation specification starts on page 12.

Course Notes

Here are some notes on Dissertation Writing.  They are mostly a reiteration of what I  will say in the first lecture, but I know it's hard to take notes quickly.

Here are some notes about Choosing Projects from one of the course assistants back in 2003, Stephen Lyall.  Mr. Lyall did the MSc in CS here in (2001-2002).  This year's course assistants are Ali Abdul Rahman and Freya Palmer.

Here is some excellent advice on doing academic research. It's intended for PhD students but MSc students may well find it useful too.

Will your dissertation have a thesis?  Of course!  Every document has at least one thesis.  The only questions are
  1. how clear you are on what that thesis is, and
  2. how clear you make your thesis in your dissertation. 
Clarity is the goal; it is much more important than length.  Olin Shivers's Dissertation Advice quotes several example theses from application-based computer science dissertations.
Referencing is an important part of writing an academic document.  You will get a library handout about referencing.  If you use latex & bibtex, then so long as you fill in all the bibtex fields correctly your referencing should be handled for you automatically.  Just in case though, here is some more help:
  1. here's the Bath library webpage on referencing.  They show very good practice on things like URLs, but on the other hand I think their suggestion to capitalize the authors names is both weird & ugly!  I haven't seen it elsewhere. 
  2. Here's an example of how to reference a product.  Scroll down the page till you find the question "I am writing a book or research paper using SPSS products. How do I make bibliographic citations?"  It's the same for any product!
Here are my bookmarks concerning Latex and Bibtex.  Here are Dr. Alwyn Barry's latex links he prepared for the Bath undergraduates.  See also The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2e - that points to a directory with the book (in PDF) and also all the source latex that went into the book, or Cambridge Engineering's Latex Web Site.  Remember, latex isn't mandatory, just useful.

On line resources about statistics: HyperStat Online covers the basics.  The book is in the left-hand column, then more books (and other things) are linked to the right.

Feedback on  the 2003 project proposals  -- so you don't make the same mistakes!

Lecture Slides

The yellow ones are old.  As I update them, I will also change the background colour.  There may not be much updating though!  But there will be some.
30 January 2007
Introduction to CM50175 + What's in a Dissertation?
6 February
Lecture by Kara Jones (blog), about using the Library.  Her talk was called Finding Research Information (PDF)
13 February
Picking a Project and Reading Papers (PDF)
20 February
Notes on Dissertations & Theses (PDF) Marking & we looked at a few.
27 February
Lecture originally by Will Lowe about just enough statistics (see also links above!)
5 March
Testimonials on doing MSc Projects: What Worked, What Didn't
(by Joanna Bryson and Ali Abdul Rahman)
12 March
Latex / Bibtex -- see links above, or go to ~cssjjb/easy from BUCS
17 April
(Seminar really, no prepared stuff)  Final Q&A about Proposals

Seminars were about reading a research paper, finding literature, and suggesting possible theses.

Old Front-Page News

Content that used to be on the front of the course page, e.g. supervisor information.

page author: Joanna Bryson