DAT315, Period 2, 2015: The Computer Scientist in Society




Proposal Exercise versus Thesis Proposal

Just in case, a few remarks to avoid possible misunderstandings: The proposal exercise is in most cases used to prepare (and get writing support for) the actual thesis proposal. Just keep in mind that, formally, these are two different items though:


The course is almost entirely based on reading, homework, and consultations. The only scheduled items are a few introductory lectures and technical talks. The course is examined by two writing exercises. This organization allows you a very flexible individual time planning. However, for passing the course we do expect two well-written reports in the end.

Lecture time:
Wednesday 10:00-11:45 in room HB1.

Office hours/ consultation times:

Purpose of the consultations: It is recommended to take two consultations during the course.

Consultations are organized in time slots of 15 minutes. You can sign up for a slot on a list, either in class or in our offices (during the office hours). You may also send mail to ask for a free slot. You may come by without sign-up, but then the current slot may already be booked.

Aims and Topics

General: Used as examples:


Summarization exercise: Summarize an article or topic of your choice. Requirements.

Proposal exercise: Write a research proposal, which can be your upcoming real master's thesis proposal or another topic of your choice; plus ethical considerations. Requirements.

Submit all texts as PDF attachments (no other formats please) to ptr(at)chalmers.se, with "DAT315" in the subject line. Use some reasonable formatting (such as: 11 points, about 2 cm margins, normal spacing) - this is not very strict, but clearly you should not fill pages by stretching a short text.

Course Weeks

Week 1. Lecture: Introduction. Aim and scope. Some words about the selection of recommended articles. Scientific writing. Handout.

Week 2. Lecture: Scientific writing continued. Handout: see week 1. And an example: Twitter a proof.

If you have time to read a book on the side: Justin Zobel "Writing for Computer Science" is available online through Chalmers Library.

Week 3. Lecture: A computer scientists's view on ethics: philosophical concepts of ethical values, examples of ethical issues in computer science. Handout.

Week 4. Lecture: Research and publication ethics, including the use of statistics. Handout.

In (almost) all weeks. Technical talks, consultations. For the summarization exercise it is highly recommended to submit drafts at any time (that is, without deadlines) to get early feedback.

Week 5. Thursday, 3 December. Deadline: draft of proposal exercise (a draft, but compulsory!).

Week 7. Monday, 14 December. Deadline: summarization exercise.

"Week 8." Monday, 21 December. Deadline: complete proposal exercise, including the ethics part. (Of course, it is fine to submit earlier.)

Resubmission deadline: Thursday, 14 January.

Technical Talks (Guest Talks)

Always 11:00-11:45. The talks shall give inspiration and show how computer science problems are approached in industry. Page with abstracts.