CIS 5935 Introductory Seminar on Research, Fall 2017



You should be a graduate student.

Class Schedule:

Activity Day Time Location
Lecture TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM LOVE 0101

Contact Information:

Instructor: Mike Burmester
Office hours: TuTh: 11:00AM - 12:00PM. I am also usually available in my office at other times; feel free to meet me in the afternoons. Alternatively, you may schedule an appointment, either by email or by phone.
Office: 268, Love Building
Phone: 644-6410
Email: burmester AT cs DOT fsu DOT edu

Course Materials:

No required textbook

Course Rationale:

This course introduces you to the important aspects of research. The details associated with formal reasearch and in particular the research done by the Computer Science faculty. This will help you in choosing an adviser and a topic for your PhD dissertation, MS thesis, or MS project. The course will also introduce the ethical principles and responsible conduct of research.

Course Description:

You will primarily listen to faculty talk about their research. You will submit written summaries for four of these talks, and also write more detailed reports on the research of two faculty members.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, you should be able to accomplish the objectives given below.

Your Responsibilities:

Deadlines and Instructions

Following the same professional guidelines that you will encounter at work, there are strict deadlines, and instructions that must be followed. Please read instructions carefully, and schedule your activities so that you submit assignments on time. You should check the class web page regularly, and note other announcements, on-line and in class.

Class Participation:

You should be in class on time, and leave only after it is over. Otherwise, you will be marked absent. You should also pay attention to the talks presented by faculty, and instructions given by me. You should not disturb the class in any manner, such as by talking to others while the class is going on.


You will have two types of assignments in this course, and a requirement to get an RCR (CITI) certificate. Formatting instructions are available at

  1. Summaries: You should write one-page summaries of at least four of the talks given by faculty members. You may supplement the material presented at the talk with on-line material from that faculty member's web page, if you wish to. Your written report will be judged both on content and on presentation. In particular, you should have no typographical errors.

    If I mark four of your summary reports as good (graded two points each), then you need not write any more summaries, for this category of assignments (a minimum of eight points is necessary). Hardcopies of the summaries are due at the beginning of the first class in the following week .

  2. Detailed reports: You should look at the web pages of all faculty and choose two on whose research you want to write a more detailed report. The main part of this report should be at least 8 pages long. The report should also include information on one or more recent or current research grants obtained by the faculty, its source, and amount, on a separate page. Also, you should give two of the most cited journal articles of the faculty member and two of the most cited conference articles (you can use Google Scholar to find the publications with the most citations and the DBLP Computer Science bibliography website to find if these are journals (red boxes) or conferences (blue boxes). Finally there should be a detailed bibliography, on a separate page. Detailed reports should not be on the same talk as summaries.

    If I mark two of your detailed reports as good (graded four points each), then you need not write any more reports for this category of assignments (a minimum of eight points is necessary). A hardcopy of each report is due on the date mentioned in the course calendar. You should hand it over to me at the begining of class on the due date. This report too will be judged both on content and on presentation. If a report is not satisfactory, then you will need to write reports on additional faculty members, until you produce a good one.

  3. Responsible Conduct of Research: The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires each institution to certify that a plan is in place to provide Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. There is an online quiz organized by CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) and supported by FSU for RCR. You should complete the Responsible Conduct of Research CITI training test outlined below.

    Instructions for taking the CITI test: Go to the CITI website. Be sure to select only the free training option, and do not agree to pay anything. When you have completed the test, print out the page showing that you have completed the course and give it to me for the files. It is important that we have a copy in case you need it later. The instructions on Blackboard may not completely match CITI, however, you should be able to work your way through it. If you have questions, please let me know. Option 2 is for graduate and undergraduate (and postdoctoral) students, offered by CITI. The CITI online training test requires approximately three to five hours for completion (actually, the average time is around 3 hours). Instructions for registering and taking the CITI test can be found at the following link: The Graduate School, Academics & Research, FSU's CITI Courses.

Course Calendar:

Week Lecture Speaker Assignment
1 29 Aug Mike Burmester -- Introduction to the course -- The blockchain consensus model Summary due Sep 5
31 Aug Mike Burmester -- Reliable & Resilient Interdependent Systems
2 5 Sep No Class Summary due Sep 19
7 Sep Gary Tyson -- Big Data in Learning
3 12 Sep Shayok Chakraborty -- Machine Learning for Vision -- Rescheduled
14 Sep Zhenhai Duan -- Rescheduled
4 19 Sept Peixiang Zhao -- Data Science Research in Big Data Era Summary due Sept 26
21 Sept Xiuwen Liu --Vision, Cyber Security and Machine Learning
5 26 Sept Class is Cancelled Summary due October 3
28 Sept Shayok Chakraborty -- Machine Learning for Vision
6 3 Oct Zhenghao Zhang -- Analog Bloom Filter (ABF) for Ultra-low Latency Random Access in Wireless Networks Summary due Oct 10
5 Oct Adrian Nistor -- Detecting and Repairing Performance Bugs using Execution and Code Patterns
7 10 Oct Nancy Kellett -- Scholarly Communication & Information Technology, Group 2: Alphabetically (family name) Maldonato to Zimmermann meet in Dirac Science Library Instruction Room (DSL 208) Summary due Oct 17
12 Oct Piyush Kumar -- Learning from Real World Data
8 17 Oct Jie Jang -- Enabling Transportation Safety Services Using Mobile Devices Summary due Oct 24
19 Oct Jiawei Zhang -- Social Network Mining
9 24 Oct Nancy Kellett -- Scholarly Communication & Information Technology, Group 1: Alphabetically (family name) Abblett to Liu meet in Dirac Science Library Instruction Room (DSL 208) Summary due Oct 31
Deadline for detailed reports on talks prior to Oct 11
26 Oct Michael Mascagni -- The "White Rat" of Numerical Reproducibility
10 31 Oct Zhenhai Duan -- Computer networks and network security Summary due Nov 7
2 Nov Sudhir Aggarwal -- Modern Password Cracking Systems
11 7 Nov Viet Tung Hoang -- Research in Modern Cryptography Summary due Nov 14
9 Nov Ashok Srinivasan -- Supercomputing for Public Policy Analysis
12 14 Nov Yue Chen -- Securing Systems by Threat Mitigation and Adaptive Live Patching
Summary due Nov 21
16 Nov David Whalley -- Compiler, Computer Architecture, Embedded Systems
13 21 Nov Dan Schwartz -- A theory of event possibility with application to vehicle waypoint navigation Summary due Nov 28
23 Nov Thanksgiving
14 28 Nov Javier Escobar -- Multimedia analysis to support software engineering tasks Summary due Dec 5
30 Nov Andy Wang -- A Unifying Primitive for the Storage Data Path
15 5 Dec Mir Anamul Hasan -- Current research -- Deadline for short reports Final week
7 Dec Deadline for detailed reports

Link to presentations:

Mike Burmester's talk: The blockchain consensus model

Mike Burmester's talk: Reliable and resilient interdependent systems

Xiuwen Liu's talk: Vision, Cyber Security and Machine Learning

Peixiang Zhao's talk: Data Science Research in Big Data Era

Shayok Chakraborty's talk: Machine Learning for Vision

Link to slides of Zhenghao Zhang's talk: Analog Bloom Filter (ABF) for Ultra-low Latency Random Access in Wireless Networks

Link to slides of Jie Jang's talk: Enabling Transportation Safety Services Using Mobile Devices

Link to slides of Jiawei Zhang's talk: Social Network Mining

Link to slides of Michael Mascagni's talk: The "White Rat" of Numerical Reproducibility

Link to slides of Yue Chen's talk: Securing Systems by Threat Mitigation and Adaptive Live Patching

Grading Criteria:

The grade will be S/U only. You will need to perform satisfactorily in each of the following criteria in order to pass the course.

Record of attendance & completed assignments


University Attendance Policy:

The university requires attendance in all classes, and it is also important to your learning. Your attendance record may be provided to deans who request it. You may have at most three unexcused absences, if you wish to get a passing grade.

Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.

You should let me know in advance, when possible, and submit the documentation I seek.

Late Assignment Policy

We have the following policy regarding submission of late assignments, in order to encourage you to submit them on time. Note that if you submit an assignment multiple times, the last submission alone will be considered for grading. Therefore, if the last submission is late, then a late submission penalty will apply, even if your earlier submissions had been on time.

Professional Ethics

You may not copy material from any source. Furthermore, you should take steps to ensure that others cannot copy work. For example, you should have all permissions on assignment files and directories set off for others.


Plagiarism is "representing another's work or any part thereof, be it published or unpublished, as ones own. For example, plagiarism includes failure to use quotation marks or other conventional markings around material quoted from any source" (Florida State University General Bulletin 1998-1999, p. 69). Failure to document material properly, that is, to indicate that the material came from another source, is also considered a form of plagiarism. Copying someone else's program, and turning it in as if it were your own work, is also considered plagiarism.

Academic Honor Policy:

The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students' academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to " honest and truthful and...[to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University. (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at

Americans with Disabilities Act:

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Center, and (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be done during the first week of class. For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact:

Student Disability Resource Center
Dean of Students Department
97 Woodward Avenue, South
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)

This syllabus and other class materials will be made available in alternative format upon request.

Syllabus Change Policy:

This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.

Last modified: 7 September 2017