CSCI 597 Seminar in Computer Science Research

Mondays, 12:00-12:50, OHE-122

Fall 2001: Professor Michael Arbib,

Spring 2002: Professor Laurent Itti,

CSCI 597 provides a series of expository lectures to introduce Ph.D. students to the breadth of research topics in CS (and, to some extent, beyond). The idea is to cycle through the subareas of USC research in CS each semester.

First-year Ph.D. Students are required to enroll for 1 unit of CSCI 597 for the first 2 semesters of the Ph.D. Program. (Applicable only to students enrolling in Summer of 2000 or later.)

For Fall 2002, see here.

Where are the grades? try here. ++ means excellent work, # means be careful, too much plagiarism and/or cut & paste (next time make sure that you put away what you have read before you start writing your essay); ## means too much plagiarism AND the source of inspiration was not cited (be very careful to avoid that by all means in the future). Updated 5/2/02 with final grades!

Schedule for Fall 2001 and Spring 2002:

Spring 2002 TopicSpeakerStatus
January 7 Computer Vision and Computational NeuroscienceIttiOK
January 14 Algorithm design for embedded processors PrasannaOK
January 28 Processing Geometry Mathieu Desbrun OK
February 4 Ethical Issues in Computer Science IttiOK
February 11 Models of Locomotion in Lower Vertebrates IjspeertTBA
February 25 Computer Networking HeidemannTBA
March 4 Computing on the Grid KesselmanOK
March 18 Social Robots MataricOK
March 25 Intelligent Learning Environments JohnsonOK
April 1 Compiling for high-performance architecturesHallOK
April 8 CAD for VLSIBreuerOK
April 15 Computer Vision for Action Recognition NevatiaOK
April 22 Closing Discussion and ReviewIttiTBA
Fall 2001 TopicSpeakerStatus
 August 27 Computers and the Brain ArbibOK
September 10Immersive Environments NeumannOK
September 17 Agent teamworkTambe OK
September 24 Computer Networks PapadopoulosOK
October 1 Face Recognition von der MalsburgOK
October 8 Evolution of Language Related to Action Recognition Arbib OK
October 15Learning in Dexterous Robots SchaalOK
October 22 Computing the Human GenomeChenOK
October 29 Multidimensional DatabasesShahabiOK
November 5 Software Engineering BoehmOK
November 12Towards an Algorithmic Theory of Self-AssemblyGoelOK
November 19 Perceptual Grouping in Computer VisionMedioniOK
November 26Natural Language HovyOK
December 3How to get a Ph.D.ArbibOK

* "OK" = confirmed 


Each talk will be a Tutorial on the given
sub area, but may also serve to frame some specific interest of the presenter. In addition, some lectures will present other topics of general interest to Ph.D. students.

Before the class professors will (in almost all cases) place on the Web (a) a good expository article on the topic of the talk; (b) a set of 3 questions about the talk and/or paper each of which can be answered in at most a page.

Students will be required to submit the answer to ONE question in the form of hard copy handed in at the following lecture. The lecturer on that topic will submit a simple grade for each page of 0 (not submitted or trivial), 1(passable but based on moderate effort), or 2 (a very good effort). [Please save a copy of your homeworks in your personal accounts, so that you can refer them for future use.]

One professor will act as supervisor for a whole year of the course (Arbib for 2000-2001), and this will count as one course of his/her teaching load.

It will be the job of this professor to ensure that a lecturer is signed up for each class meeting, that materials are posted on the Web, that papers are submitted and graded, and that a final grade (CR/NCR) is assigned.

Advice to students on homework: 
The questions are designed to ensure that you pay attention to each topic, yet do so in a way that will not take more than an hour or so beyond the lecture (unless the topic was of special interest to you). I thus suggest the following strategy: Print out the 3 questions and bring them to the lecture, then take notes during the lecture in relation to the 3 questions. By the end of the lecture, you should each be clear about which question you will answer and have some good notes toward that answer. An hour with the assigned article should then be enough to flesh out the notes into a full page response. Each essay must be submitted at the following class in the seminar series.

Plagiarism Warning:
You are encouraged to use material from the literature in writing your essays, but you MUST follow normal scholarly practice in doing so.
a) If you want to use material as it appears in the original, you place it in quotes or display it in a distinctive font. If you leave something out of the quote, you mark the gap with three dots: ,,, If you change a few words, you enclose [the new words you write] in square brackets. You follow the quote with the source and page number -- e.g., Smith and Wesson, 2000, pp. 37-38 -- and you place the full bibliographic reference in the Reference list at the end of your paper.

b) Alternatively, if you summarize or paraphrase the material, you need not put it in quotes, but you must still acknowledge the source, as in: As Smith and Wesson (2000) have shown, xyz. Departures from these norms will not be tolerated.

The following Spring 2001 Schedule is here for archival purposes, and gives access to papers and questions for that semester:




January 8

How to get a Ph.d


  January  15

Martin Luther King Day

January 22 DNA computing Adleman
January 29 Ethical Issues in Computer Science Arbib
  February 5   Computer Networking Govindan
February 12 Stable Marriages, Switching, and Speedup Ashish Goel
February 19 Presidents' Day
February 26 How to start a High-Tech Company Bekey
March 5 Social Robots Maja Mataric
March 12 Spring Recess
March 19 Computer Vision comes to video analysis Issac Cohen
March 26 Acquiring Knowledge from Users: Results and Challenges


April 2 Organic Computing Von Der Malsburg
April 9 User Interfaces Neches
April 16 Graphics as a Mathematical Discipline Desbrun
April 23 Computing on the Grid Kesselman

The following Fall 2000 Schedule is here for archival purposes, and gives access to papers and questions for that semester:




August 28



September 4

Labor Day (No class)

September 11

Computer Networks

September 18  Instructional Computing Johnson
September 25  Software Engineering Medvidovic
October 2 Database Research Ghandeharizadeh
October 9 DNA Computing Adleman
October 16 Security for electronic commerce Neuman
October 23 Computing for the Human Genome Project Waterman
October 30 Learning in Dextrous Robots Schaal
November 6 Natural Language Hovy
November 13 Nanorobotics Requicha
November 20  Computer Vision and Computational Neuroscience Itti
November 27  Immersive Environments Neumann
December 4 Intelligent Agents Hill
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