CS5014 Fall 2006 Assignment 2
You are to write a three page paper about your own research
You should write the paper as though you were planning to give it to a
CS faculty member to convince him or her to take you on as a research
Suitable topics for discussion include the following:
What degrees do you plan to get? Why?
Why did you come to Virginia Tech for those degrees?
What area do you plan to do research work in while a graduate student?
What is your educational background, especially your past research
What other qualifications do you possess that would convince a faculty
member to take you on?
(Be careful not to appear to be using previous experiences and
background as a space-filler.)
What kind of job do you plan to get after graduation?
What area of Computer Science?
Does it involve research, and if so, how?
Even if its not a "research job", how might your graduate education
(particularly your research experiences) relate to that?
You may discuss your planned research topic, but this is not
meant to be a research proposal.
(Note: You do not need to address everything on the list, I'm just
trying to make suggestions so that you can find plenty to say.)
Due Tuesday, September 12 at the beginning of class
This assignment has three purposes. First, its a technical writing
You should use good writing style and proper English,
and you can expect feedback on your writing proficiency.
Second, it gives you practice at meeting a seemingly arbitrary format
specification and length requirement (see below) -
a true real-life skill in the academic world!
Third, it starts you thinking about your research program if you have
not already done so, and sets the stage for your assignments related
to your research proposal.
The document you write for this assignment will also serve as the
basis for some editing assignments later on.
Format specifications for the paper are as follows.
WARNING: Any deviation from these specifications, in letter or spirit,
will generate a massive penalty effectively resulting in a failing
grade for this assignment. If you have questions, be sure to ask!
Specific formating requirements (this assignment only):
Your paper will consist of 2-4 sections. There will be no subsections.
There will be no abstract, references, figures, etc.
The paper will be as close as possible to exactly three pages
long. You absolutely must not go into a fourth page. Your third page
may be short by as much as one inch (about 5-6 lines) but this is
General formating requirements (for this and other assignments):
The text body will be 6 1/2 inches wide and 9 inches high, reasonably
centered on the page (LaTeX fullpage style will do this). You will use
If done in LaTeX, you will use 11pt computer modern font (the default
font, set at 11pt). If done in MS Word, you will use Times New Roman
font set at 11pt.
Text margins will be fully justified.
Paragraphs will be indented about 1/4 inch, with no additional vertical
separation between paragraphs (i.e., the way Higham does).
Section (and subsection, etc.) headers will use the style in the
Higham book. That is, bold font, with a number in front, and about one
line of separation between the section title and the leading and
following text. Section headers will be set at 12pt. Section
(subsection, etc.) headers will use standard Cap/lc style, meaning
that all "major" words are capitalized with lower case letters
following, and all "minor" words are in lower case (see Higham for
There will be a paper title (centered, 12 point, bold font, no line
skips within the title if it spans multiple lines), followed
by a single blank line, then your name (centered, 12 point, not bold),
and then two blank lines before the text begins.
There will be no page number on the first page, but the remaining
pages will be numbered, with the number at the center of the page at
the bottom, below the text block (i.e., within the one inch margin at
the bottom of the page).