CSCI 410 - Senior Seminar

Fall 2018

Course Overview:

A combination of readings, writing assignments, oral presentations, and independent project work integrates the lessons from each student's undergraduate studies. Students assess the content of formal writing about computing subjects, investigate ethical and social issues in computing, and complete a substantial independent capstone project. Students also prepare themselves for professional work by resume writing and the creation of a professional portfolio.

At the end of the course, you will be expected to be able to:

Lecture Time: TR 8:15-9:30 (B1)

Room: MC Reynolds 317

Instructor: Dr. Bayazit Karaman, MC Reynolds 313

Office Hours: By appointment. To make an appointment with me, please send an email. Also, please feel free to stop by whenever my door is open.

Evaluation: It will be based on:

Course Documents:


Capstone Project: You will complete a substantial, individual capstone project which should tie together multiple things you have learned throughout your time at Hendrix. The capstone project could take many forms. Some ideas include:

You are encouraged to talk with me or another member of the computer science faculty to discuss potential ideas for your project.

You may optionally undertake a year-long thesis project, which must be a research project, and is a prerequisite for graduating with distinction. You must discuss this with a potential faculty mentor and commit to a year-long thesis by Tuesday, 4 September. Note that after September 5 you may not "upgrade" a semester project into a year-long thesis; however, the opposite is always an option: if you start out doing a year-long thesis but decide by the end of the semester that you do not wish to continue, you may "downgrade" it to a semester capstone project with no penalty.

Note: all the above deadlines still apply even if you undertake a year-long thesis; but in that case you will be turning in a partial version of your thesis rather than a finished draft. Consult with the instructor to figure out what makes the most sense in your specific situation.

Writing Assignments: This course carries W2 credit. As such, it will feature a significant amount of various forms of writing. You are encouraged to use LATEX for all writing assignments, though it is only required for your capstone document.

Presentations: Over the course of the semester you will give several presentations. You should put careful thought into preparing each presentation. What story do you want to tell? How can you most effectively communicate it with your audience? Your presentations must use appropriate visual aids, such as slides or the chalkboard.

Presentation on Classic Literature: Each student will pick a paper, book, or other classic computing literature and sign up for a presentation slot. On your assigned day you will:

Do not simply summarize the content of the paper! You must also try to put the paper in a larger context: for example, you might connect it to contemporary ideas or practice, connect it to ideas encountered in courses you have taken, and try to convey a sense for why the paper is important/classic. This may require doing a bit of extra research to find secondary sources that help put the paper in context or explain why it is important.

In addition, you will be paired with another student who is presenting a different piece of classic literature on the same day. At a prior mutually agreed time, you will meet to share drafts of your writeup and practice runthroughs of your talk, and to give each other feedback. This meeting and feedback will constitute part of your grade on the assignment.

The Writing Center: Located in the Jennings L. Snoddy Academic Resource Center in the west wing of Bailey Library, the Writing Center is an excellent (and free) resource for working on your writing with a peer tutor. Tutors can assist you in learning to organize, edit, and revise assignments at any stage of the process and for all fields of study. Think of peer tutors as a group of helpful first readers that will enable you to develop the skill and effectiveness of your writing. The Center is open Monday through Thursday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and on Sunday from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Appointments are encouraged, but drop-ins are accepted as well. Contact Felipe Pruneda Senties, Interim Director, if you have questions or you want to make an appointment at or 501-505-1560. For more detail, see

Academic Integrity: All Hendrix students must abide by the College’s Academic Integrity Policy as well as the College’s Computer Policy, both of which are outlined in the Student Handbook.

For specific ways the Academic Integrity policy applies in this course, please refer to the Computer Science Academic Integrity Policy.

The short version is that academic integrity violations such as copying code from another student or the Internet are easy to detect, will be taken very seriously, and carry a default recommended sanction of a zero on the assignment in addition to a decrease of one letter grade on your final grade.

If you have any questions about how the Academic Integrity policy applies in a particular situation, please contact me.

Accommodations: It is the policy of Hendrix College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal and state law. Any student who needs accommodation in relation to a recognized disability should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. In order to receive accommodations, students with disabilities are directed to contact Julie Brown in Academic Support Services at 501-505-2954.

Schedule: The anticipated schedule for the semester is below. The instructor reserves the right to alter the schedule as necessary during the semester.

Date Day Topic/Activity/Assignment Due
08/21/2018 Tuesday Go over syllabus
Capstone vs Thesis
08/23/2018 Thursday Workshop project ideas
An idea for a Capstone/Thesis project
08/28/2018 Tuesday LATEX
Written project idea (one-page)
08/30/2018 Thursday Workshop resumes
Resume/CV (four paper copies)
09/04/2018 Tuesday Discuss setbacks
Revised project idea & work plan (1-2 pages)
09/06/2018 Thursday Writing & Communication I: presentations
09/11/2018 Tuesday Writing & Communication II: writing
Classic Literature Day
Chantal Danyluk and Shane Atchley
09/13/2018 Thursday Workshop Cover Letters
Cover letter
09/18/2018 Tuesday Classic Literature Day
Taylor Baer and Desmond Yalom
09/20/2018 Thursday Classic Literature Day
Colby Hall and Ryan Murray
09/25/2018 Tuesday Progress report on your capstone project (10 minutes presentation)
Kelsey Dietrich
Chantal Danyluk
Taylor Baer
Colby Hall
Shane Atchley
Desmond Yalom
09/27/2018 Thursday Progress report on your capstone project (10 minutes presentation)
Michael Spainhour
Taylor Barker
Callahan Hirrel
Mohammad Ali
Ryan Murray
Uzair Tariq
10/02/2018 Tuesday Classic Literature Day
Kelsey Dietrich and Mohammad Ali
10/04/2018 Thursday No class
10/09/2018 Tuesday Abstracts
10/11/2018 Thursday Fall Break
10/16/2018 Tuesday Workshop abstracts
First draft of your abstract
10/18/2018 Thursday Introductions
Classic Literature Day
Michael Spainhour and Uzair Tariq
10/23/2018 Tuesday Workshop introductions
First draft of your introduction (2-5 pages)
10/25/2018 Thursday IP & copyright
10/30/2018 Tuesday Licences & open source
11/01/2018 Thursday Workshop backgrounds
First draft of your background (5-10 pages)
11/06/2018 Tuesday Culture & diversity I
11/08/2018 Thursday Culture & diversity II
11/13/2018 Tuesday Body parts
11/15/2018 Thursday Classic Literature Day
Callahan Hirrel and Taylor Barker
11/20/2018 Tuesday Workshop body part
First half of your paper body (9 pages or so)
11/22/2018 Thursday Thanksgiving Break
11/27/2018 Tuesday Final project presentations (10 minutes, open to the public)
11/29/2018 Thursday Final project presentations (10 minutes, open to the public)
12/06/2018 Thursday Final revised paper