CS 7001: Introduction to Graduate Studies


This class will prepare you to perform great research in computer science, regardless of the area you ultimately choose to pursue for your Ph.D. Towards achieving this goal, this course will:


You will be expected to read some material on graduate school, research, etc., which will be assigned throughout the term.
There are no required textbooks for the course.


You must be a first-year Ph.D. student in the College of Computing.


This course will have a letter grade: A, B, or Fail. The components of the grade are as follows:

  • 4 Assignments (30%)
  • 5 Mini-Assignments (20%)
  • 1 Main Project (30%)
  • 1+ Mini-Projects (10%)
  • Participation (10%)
You must have more than zero points in each category and complete 66% of the course to pass.


Papers will not be handed out in class.
Please print the readings and read them before class.
Speaker schedule is tentative!

Lecture Date Topics Notes/Resources Preparation
Mon 08/18 No Class
The Ph.D.
1 Wed 08/20 Course Overview
[pdf] [ppt]
2 Mon 08/25 Why Ph.D.?
3 Wed 08/27 Industry vs. Academia
Mini-Assignment 1:
Thought Questions
Mon 09/01 Labor Day
4 Wed 09/03 Recognizing and Critiquing Ideas
5 Mon 09/08 Fellowships (Guest Lecture: Karen Adams)
Great Ideas
6 Wed 09/10 A Case Study in Great Ideas
Baran Interview
7 Mon 09/15 On Great Ideas #1: Scientific Revolutions
Assignment 1:
Recognizing Good Ideas
8 Wed 09/17 On Great Ideas #2: Great Researchers
9 Mon 09/22 Generating Ideas #1: Research Patterns
10 Wed 09/24 Generating Ideas #2: Creativity
11 Mon 09/29 Generating Ideas #3: Cross-Disciplinary Thinking
Assignment 2:
Creating an Idea
Johansson Burke
12 Wed 10/01 Communicating Ideas #1: Writing
Zobel Strunk
Mon 10/06 No Class
13 Wed 10/08 Communicating Ideas #2: Speaking
Mini-Assignment 2a:
Project Interim Report
Mon 10/13 Recess
Assignment 3:
Critiquing Ideas
Assignment 2 Due
14 Wed 10/15 Mock PC
Grand Challenges
15 Mon 10/20 Networking, Security, Systems, Theory
Databases, Software Engineering, Architecture
Graphics, HCI, Robotics,
Cognitive Science, LST Vision and Perception
Project Interim Report Due
16 Wed 10/22 HPC and Simulation, Artificial Intelligence,
Machine Learning and Numerical Methods
Grad School Survival
17 Mon 10/27 Motivation and Time Management
18 Wed 10/29 Fun in Atlanta
Fri 10/31
Costume Contest
19 Mon 11/03 Teaching and TAing
20 Wed 11/05 People Management
21 Mon 11/10 Student Panel: Survival
Mini-Assignment 2:
Time Log
22 Wed 11/12 Math and Programming Skills
23 Mon 11/17 Data and Human Skills
Broader Impacts
24 Wed 11/19 Impact in Society and Industry
25 Mon 11/24 Ethics and Diversity in CS
Mini-Assignment 3:
Personal Web Page
Mini-Assignment 4:
Elevator Pitch
Wed 11/26 Turkey Cooking
26 Mon 12/01 Mini-Conference
Assignment 4: Talk Reviews
27 Wed 12/03 Mini-Conference
Pseudo-Assignment: Social
Mon 12/08
Project Writeup Due

Home Reading Syllabus validate