CSCE 481: Seminar

Spring 2017

Location/Time: TR 2:20 - 3:35, HRBB 124

Class Web Page:

Dr. Scott Schaefer
Office: HRBB 527B
Phone: 862-4251
Office Hours: TR 3:45pm-4:45pm

TAOffice HoursEmail
Vijaya SinghTR 10:30am-12:30pm, RDMC B021mailvijayasingh at
Aqib BhatWF 11:00am-1:00pm, TEAG 330AB aqib_bhat at
Raniero Lara-Garduno MW 2:00pm-4:00pm, TEAG 330Kranierolg89 at
Karl OttTR 1:00pm-2:00pm, HRBB 514Akaott at


Course Description:
The goal of this course is to expose students to a variety of topics of current interest in Computer Science and Engineering. This will particularly focus on practical issues related to career-oriented topics, such as finding a job, job environment, and graduate school. Presentations about these topics will involve a variety of invited speakers in a seminar environment. This course is being taught to meet W course requirements.

Course Objectives:
The course will cover a variety of topics in class, in addition to research topics that students will be exposed to through attending research seminars and reading outside of class. The in-class topics will include material on:

  • Career opportunities and pathways for those with undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in computer science and engineering
  • Job topics, including: job searching, interviewing, job negotiations, company work environments
  • Computer Science/Engineering research, including undergraduate research
  • Graduate school
In addition, in-class instruction will be provided on writing for computer science and engineering.

Student Outcomes:
At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • explain what computational thinking means, and how computation influences many aspects of our technological society.
  • explain how computer science is about algorithms, not just programming .
  • be familiar with important terms and concepts in the field.
  • understand the rationale for the sequence of courses required of our majors.
  • understand different aspects of being a software engineer.

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Classification. The course is mainly intended for those students who are about a year or a bit more away from graduation.

This course will be offered on a Pass/Fail basis, which will be recorded as an A or an F. To receive a satisfactory grade, students must complete all categories of the assignments satisfactorily. Failure to successfully complete any one of these areas will result in failing the course.
Grading Formula
if ( All Short Writing Assignments Submitted &&
     Avg (Short Writing Scores) >= 7 &&
     All Long Writing Assignments Submitted &&
     Avg(Long Writing Scores) >= 70% &&
     Missed Classes (excluding first class) <= 5 &&
     Submitted at least one revision of a long assignment )
then GRADE = 'A'
else GRADE = 'F'

Required Textbook:
Writing for Computer Science, Second or Third Edition, by Justin Zobel.

Communication: A class web page (listed at the top of this syllabus) will be maintained throughout the semester. Students are responsible for checking both the web page and email regularly for class updates.

Academic Honesty:
The Aggie Honor Code is: “An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.” Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the TAMU community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System. For additional information please visit:

ADA Statement:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Services building at the Student Services at White Creek complex on west campus or call 979-845-1637. For additional information, visit