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Project Seminar

2021/2022
Учебный год
ENG
Обучение ведется на английском языке
4
Кредиты
Статус:
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 1-4 модуль

Преподаватель

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course (seminar) 'Project Seminar' is offered to students of the Master Program 'System and Software Engineering' (area code 09.04.04) in the School of Software Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science (FCS) of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). The course is a part of MS curriculum pool of Project activity (Clause 2 – Practice, Project and(or) Scientific-Research Work (Project Activity) of the 1st academic year’s curriculum, M.2 – Program/specialization Pool of Disciplines), and it is a four-module course (semester A quartile 1 thru semester B quartile 4). The seminar can be considered as an orienteering course developed to assist graduate-level students to acquire knowledge and skills needed to fulfill the project's (essential part of the Plan of Studies) requirements successfully, understand the place of software development within the project engineering process, perform a search for academic and technical information on a chosen topic(s), plan effectively research (project) work, prepare project's (research) proposal following predefined template, oral and writing presentations as an activity that accompanies a specialist almost anywhere in his/her professional life. The seminar stipulates both class activities and, to a greater extent, self-study (independent work) that relates to topics under consideration. Besides, invited talk(s) as important constituent of the seminar are aimed at introduction of various real-life aspects, offerings and practical experience of software development as well as academic (industrial) research. Despite the small number of hours planned, the seminar is held regularly during the first year of studies.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The overall objective of the Project seminar is to present and discuss the main features of the project (or, coursework) carried out by the students of the master's program individually (or, in a group), key issues of preparation of the project proposal, and drafting of the final report, covering the results of the project obtained during the 1st year of study. The learning objectives are attained through the employing combination of 'half-lectional' presentation of the material (with use of accompanying slides), discussion of the viewed provisions and ideas with the students, brief oral statements of students themselves (narration of their achievements, plans, and thoughts concerning the project activity), course-specific reading and self-study associated with the preparation of project proposal. It is anticipated that seminar activity should lay a reasonable basis for more systematic and successful work of students on the project.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To know and think through core aspects of writing individual parts of the thesis (written report)
  • To know and understand important points that must be addressed when preparing the initial part of the thesis (written report)
  • To know and understand skills and qualities needed to prepare a high-quality Master thesis (dissertation)
  • To know and understand who a mentor is, his(her) role in a project
  • To know historical facts concerning degrees (de facto Student, Candidate, Master, and Doctor) in Russia in XIX-XX-th centuries
  • To know key aspects regarding complete and qualitative presentation of the work done; to understand how to disclose the main content of the work
  • To understand and justify the relevance, soundness and research scope of the project’s topic
  • To understand and set out clearly the project’s focus (product-oriented or research type of project)
  • To understand and take advantage of storytelling in managing the project’s activity; to know main steps to follow in problem-solving
  • To understand research orientation of Master’s dissertation
  • To understand the importance of critical thinking in reading sources and writing text, thoughtful approach to working with references
  • To understand the need for a proper relationship formation and active interaction with the mentor (supervisor) of the project (coursework)
  • To understand the purpose and structure of project proposal (PP), and to adhere to it when preparing own PP
  • To understand the purpose of planning as a necessary preparatory activity in any project
  • To understand the specifics of the language and style of presentation used in writing
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • What 'Master's thesis' really means? The difference between Master's, Specialist's and Bachelor's degree theses. Why are we talking about a research? Choosing a topic and developing a work plan for the thesis activity. How to get a proper mentoring – a point that requires special attention and time
  • Why it is important for master’s level students to be critical in reading literature (sources) and writing text; working with references. The language and style of master's thesis (dissertation). Specific aspects of writing individual parts of the work (introduction, specification of models (methodology), results)
  • Project (work) planning: from the subject of interest to understanding the topic, from the topic “in the broad sense” to the narrowed topic. Raising questions and awareness of the importance of the chosen topic. Initiating major discussion with the project’s supervisor (mentor), motivation for the research. Is the chosen topic suitable for the research? What does it mean a “good topic”?
  • The initial part of the thesis (topic’s relevance, research problem, state of the topic’s coverage, the object of the dissertation, the subject of the study, purpose of the study, formulation of the hypothesis, etc.). What is presented? What is important for a complete and qualitative presentation of the work done. Disclosure of the main content of the work
  • Project’s focus – practical (product-oriented) and research; from questioning to problem solving. General structure of problems. Project (research) proposal. The purpose and the structure of the project (research) proposal
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Short Oral Presentation (OP)
  • non-blocking Course (seminar) Examination (CE)
  • non-blocking Assignment (Project Proposal) (PP)
  • non-blocking Final Course (seminar) Examination (FE)
    Оценка за дисциплину выставляется в соответствии с формулой оценивания всех пройденных элементов контроля; отдельный экзамен не проводится (итоговая оценка выставляется по отдельным накопленным оценкам), онлайн-сеанс (в MS Teams) или очный семинар (в зависимости от складывающейся ситуации) для обсуждения итоговых результатов
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 1st module
    During the first module (September-October), each student makes a brief presentation (up to 5-7 minutes) concerning his/her area(s) of interest, projects that have been implemented during the bachelor's studies, results achieved, failures (if any, possible reasons for them to emerge and conclusions drawn), and plans regarding the topic that he/she would like to deal with during the master's studies (urgency of the topic, reasons to choose it, details concerning the idea to tackle with during the project work period, etc.). At the same time, such presentations may help to overcome possible dissociation of students at the beginning of their studies, allow them to get to know each other better, and possibly find "points" of mutual interests. Such presentation (OP) is assessed on the ten-point scale, and the corresponding grade is denoted as O(OP). The presentation (slides / visual aid, their completeness and information aspects) and the speech of a student (formulations, explanations, arguments provided) are graded separately; their weights are equal to 50% each. As it is mentioned, grades are specified on a 10-point scale adopted by HSE, with the usual correspondence of the habitual 5-point scale and the European ECTS scale. A grade of 8 on the 10-point scale corresponds to a grade of "excellent" on the 5-point scale ('A' grade (viz. very good) on the ECTS scale) - see also https://www.hse.ru/studyspravka/Scale/. This grade (please, pay attention to the fact that it is the only grade corresponding to the "excellent" level) implies a deep understanding of the subject (topics under consideration) and active independent work related to the study of recommended material, its wise structuring, the ability to formulate relevant research questions (problems), analyze them (albeit, in general) and propose effective (feasible) solutions (ideas related to those proposals), critically assess the existing alternative approaches to the solution of problem(s).
  • 2021/2022 2nd module
  • 2021/2022 3rd module
  • 2021/2022 4th module
    FE implies the arrangement of the project's pre-defense - this implies the preparation of a report (details will be provided during the academic year / see timely MS Teams detailed explanation of what is required) in electronic format (pdf-file). Besides, oral presentation of the work done is a must seminar's activity, the grade for the presentation is treated as O(FE). Finally, the resultant course (seminar) grade on the ten-point scale is obtained as O(Total) = 0.2 * O(CE) + 0.35 * O(PP) + 0.45 * O(FE) (as noted above, CE == OP (module_1)). Usual rounding takes place after calculations are done, with no blocking. The resultant grade O(Total) >= 4 (after rounding) means successful course’ completion (grade "Pass"), while grade of 3 or lower means unsuccessful result (grade "Fail"). It should be emphasized that the course (seminar) does not provide for obtaining an "automatic" grade; all of the aforementioned controls must be completed by all students. A grade of 8 on the 10-point scale corresponds to a grade of "excellent" on the 5-point scale ('A' grade (viz. very good) on the ECTS scale) - see also https://www.hse.ru/studyspravka/Scale/. This grade (please, pay attention to the fact that it is the only grade corresponding to the "excellent" level) implies a deep understanding of the subject (topics under consideration) within the course' syllabus and active independent work related to the study of recommended material, its wise structuring, the ability to formulate relevant research questions (problems), analyze them and propose effective (feasible) solutions, critically assess the existing alternative approaches to the solution of problems. Grades 9 ("excellent - exceeds expectations" / A+ grade (very good with distinction) on the ECTS scale) or 10 ("excellent - significantly exceeds expectations" / A++ grade (very good with excellence) on the ECTS scale) are given to students who take the initiative to go beyond the course' syllabus, for example, study additional materials (in-depth and well-organized independent work associated with structuring of additional material - in particular, from the electronic resources of the HSE library) and create on their basis a product (conduct qualitative research with obtaining interpretable results, which can be the basis for preparing a publication or represent a virtually complete text for presentation at a conference/publication) that is potentially useful to the instructor, other students, and being regarded as significant; reveal critical (creative) thinking that goes beyond excellent level (of originality of thinking); perform tasks of advanced complexity; offer an innovative solution that demonstrates a higher level of mastery of the stateed educational results on particular element(s) of control or more than excellent mastery of the entire course content (the material under consideration).. It should be emphasized that the course (seminar) does not provide for obtaining an "automatic" grade; all of the aforementioned controls must be completed by all students.
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Brian Kennett. (2014). Planning and Managing Scientific Research. Netherlands, Europe: ANU Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.F059340E

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Chapin, P. G. (2004). Research Projects and Research Proposals : A Guide for Scientists Seeking Funding. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=164360
  • Oruc, A. Y. (2012). Handbook of Scientific Proposal Writing. Boca Raton: Chapman and Hall/CRC. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=934655
  • Reardon, D. (2006). Doing Your Undergraduate Project. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=251712