CS 1944: Computer Science First Year Seminar
Spring 2016

1/26/16 Survey

Instructor: Dr. Cal Ribbens, 1108 KnowledgeWorks II, ribbens@vt.edu, Office Hours: by appointment

Course Objectives

This course emphasizes academic and career planning for computer science majors. The course is recommended for CS majors in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th semester. An informal description of the objectives of CS 1944 are as follows:
  1. Prepare students to succeed in the major.

  2. Prepare students to succeed in starting a career or in going to graduate school.

  3. Build community and enthusiasm.


Deliverables and Grading

This class is offered on a P/F basis only. In order to receive a passing grade, students must earn at least 80 out of the 100 points described below.
  1. (12 pts) Class attendance. No more than two unexcused absences at regular class meetings. Each unexcused absence after two costs 4 points.

  2. (8 pts) Resume.
    1. To get 1944 credit you must upload your resume to the class Scholar site by February 16.
    2. To include your resume in the CSRC Career Fair database, you should also upload your resume to the CSRC portal by February 12.

  3. (8 pts) Elevator speech. These must be done during the weeks of February 8 and 15 in McBryde 114 (schedule of available times slots TBA).

  4. (14 pts) CSRC Career Fair. Attend the Career Fair (February 22, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Inn at Virginia Tech) and speak with a representative of at least 4 companies. After the fair, complete the "CSRC Career Fair" assignment (available at the class Scholar site) reflecting on your experience at the fair. This reflection is due February 29.

  5. (8 pts) Etiquette Dinner. Owens Banquet Hall. Choose one of two (tentative) available dates: March 22 or 28.

  6. (16 pts) Cool Topics Fair. April 26. Full credit depends on both your handout and presentation. Topics must be approved by Dr. Ribbens by March 31. An unexcused failure to participate in the cool topics fair results in a penalty of 5 points. A list of the topics approved so far.

  7. (4 pts) Cool Topics group evaluation. Form is available on the class Scholar site. Due May 6.

  8. (5 pts each, up to 30 pts total) Attend various presentations or meetings. For each, write a summary paragraph of the presentation/event/meeting, including something you learned. Your writing will be assessed (unsatisfactory writing may need to be revised). Upload your paragraphs to the class Scholar site by May 6. The following categories are allowed:

    1. Technical talks or seminars, or company presentations or information session You may count at most three of these.

    2. A CS-related event. This is a broad category, and includes things like attending a CS-related club meeting, visiting a research lab or venue, participating in a CS research project, interviewing a CS faculty member, participating in a coding challenge or hackathon, etc. You may count at most two of these.

    3. Career related events. This could be an event put on by Career Services, or something in the department, e.g., a resume review, interview prep session, career fair prep session, etc. If you aren't sure, ask. You may count at most one of these.

    CS 1944, C. J. Ribbens, 1/19/2016