CS 5453: Empirical Methods

Course Goals

By the end of this course, you should be able to:


Grades will be posted to Desire2Learn. It is the responsibility of each student in this class to check their grades on D2L after each project or homework is returned. If an error is found, bring the graded document to the instructor and it will be corrected.


Homework Assignments. We will assign several short homework assignments that will give us an opportunity to practice the mathematical techniques that we are learning in class. Homework assignments are due at 17:00 on their due date.

Semester Project. The semester-long project constitutes a significant percentage of your class grade and is intended as a venue in which you explore the techniques that we have been discussing. The topic of your project will be one of your own choosing (subject to approval by the instructor). Ideally, the research topic will be one in which you are already engaged and have conducted experiments. The focus of your project should be on the process of formulating hypotheses and experimental questions, and on conducting and evaluating experiments. The focus should not be on the design and implementation of the algorithms of study (although some of this will probably be required).

We will have five checkpoints during the semester. Each checkpoint involves both an oral presentation and a written document (due on different days). Oral presentations (including slides) must be ready by the beginning of the class period on their due date. Written components are due at 17:00 on their due date.

Course Policies

Attendance: Class time will largely be dedicated to the discussion (and, hopefully, mutual understanding) of the reading material. This is especially the case given that everyone is coming into the class with different backgrounds. Participation is therefore absolutely critical to the success of the class and to your success in the class. You should, therefore, attend class whenever possible and be prepared to discuss the material (which you should have read before the class period). Your in-class participation will be noted and will count for 20% of your overall course grade.

Class Web Page: Most of the material that you will need can be found on the class web page located at: http://www.cs.ou.edu/~fagg/classes/empirical_methods_2008

Desire2Learn: This class will also use D2L. Login with your 4+4 (usually the first four letters of your last name followed by the last four digits of your student number), using your standard OU password. If you have difficulty logging in, call 325-HELP. This software provides a number of useful features, including a list of announcements, an electronic mailing list, newsgroups, and grade book.

I will update the main web site and the D2L courseware page from time to time. When we update the site in any significant way, I will post an announcement on D2L telling you what has been added and where it is located. You are responsible for things posted on the site within 48 hours of the post.

Class Email Alias: Urgent announcements will be sent through email. It is your responsibility to:

Newsgroups and Email: The newsgroup on Desire2Learn should be the primary method of communication (outside of class). This allows everyone in the class to benefit from the answer to your question. Matters of personal interest should be directed to email instead of to the newsgroup, e.g., informing us of an extended personal illness.

Examinations: There will not be any exams in this class.

Academic Misconduct: Feel free to discuss papers and projects with other members of the class or myself. However, do not copy another student's work, as this is considered cheating.

You may make use of the net as a reference as you are working on homework and projects. However, downloading specific solutions or wording from the net is also considered cheating. When in doubt -- ask.

For more details regarding academic integrity, including such issues as plagiarism, please see the Provost's Guide to Academic Integrity (http://www.ou.edu/provost/integrity/).

Upon the first documented occurrence of cheating, I will report the academic misconduct to the Campus Judicial Coordinator. The procedure to be followed is documented in the University of Oklahoma Academic Misconduct Code ( http://www.ou.edu/studentcode/OUStudentCode.pdf). In the event that we elect to admonish the student, the appeals process is described in the Provost's Guidelines ( http://www.ou.edu/provost/integrity-rights/).

Incompletes: The grade of "I" is intended for the rare circumstance when a student who has been successful in a class has an unexpected event occur shortly before the end of the class. We will not consider giving a student a grade of "I" unless the following three conditions have been met.

Accommodation of Disabilities: The University of Oklahoma is committed to providing reasonable accommodation for all students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require accommodations in this course are requested to speak with the professor as early in the semester as possible. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services prior to receiving accommodations in this course. The Office of Disability Services is located in Goddard Health Center, Suite 166, phone 405/325-3852 or TDD only 405/325-4173.

Irregularly scheduled exams: Please note that there will be a final poster presentation for your project, scheduled outside the normal class hours for this class. You will be given an opportunity to choose an hour time slot between 2:00 and 5:00 pm on Friday, December 12 to give this presentation. In addition, you will be responosible for reviewing at least two other poster presentations (in addition to the hour in front of your poster).

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Last modified: Thu Nov 20 15:41:08 2008