DCSE / Studies / T-0.050 Introduction to Postgraduate Studies in Computer Science

T-0.050 Introduction to Postgraduate Studies in Computer Science (1 cr)

Spring 2003

This is a broad introductory course on the facilities and research skills required for successful graduate study in Computer Science and Engineering. The course is obligatory for all new postgraduate students (admitted as of 1 Oct 2002 or later) at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

[Current] [General] [Schedule] [Arrangements] [Material] [Feedback]


  • Numerical summary of the feedback results available.
  • Many thanks to all the students and lecturers for your active participation! Please still fill in and return the computerised course feedback form. (English form here.)
  • Programme for research plan presentations on Thu 24 April. Version 3.1 (24 April).
  • Attendance list (pdf) as of 3 April. Please check your status and report any errors to the course coordinator (P.O.)
  • More changes to the schedule: lecture of 10 April moved to 3 April; no class 10 April; deadline & tutorial on research plans 24 April. Please see updated schedule below.
  • Also because of the schedule changes the number of "course points" required for passing has been decreased from eight to seven.


  • Lectures: Given by faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, roughly every other week beginning 16 Jan, Thu 16-18 room T3. (For precise dates, see the schedule below.) Coordinator Pekka Orponen
  • Tutorials: Alternate weeks with the lectures. Discussion and practice of topics related to own research area.
  • Requirements: Practice talk on a selected conference paper (13/20 Feb); design and presentation of personal research plan (20 Apr); and seven (7) additional "course points" according to the formula: lecture attendance = 1 pt, tutorial assignment = 2 pts.
  • Registration by attending the first lecture or contacting the coordinator. Attendance at the first lecture is mandatory for all students taking the course for credit. In case of a compelling reason for absence, please contact the coordinator.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate degree programme in Computer Science and Engineering.

Schedule (L = Lecture, T = Tutorial)

  • 16 Jan/L: Aims, structure and scope of graduate studies (Pekka Orponen)
    Slides (pdf). Key references: [2,3,5,6].
  • 23 Jan/T: Personal study plan and goals
  • 30 Jan/L: Use of literature and writing (Jaakko Hollmén)
    Slides (pdf). Key references:
  • 6 Feb/L: Conferences (Marko Nieminen)
    Slides (pdf). Key references:
  • 13 Feb/T: Practice presentation of a selected conference paper. Schedule.
  • 20 Feb/T: Practice presentations cont'd. Schedule.
  • 27 Feb/L: Archival journals and peer review (Jyrki Kontio)
    Slides. Key references:
  • 6 Mar/T: No meeting.
  • 13 Mar/L: Research areas and methods in computer science.
    Slides: Savioja, Hollmén, Nieminen, Hirvisalo, Orponen, Smeds, Tuominen.
  • 20 Mar/T: Referee report on a selected paper
  • 27 Mar/L: Funding (Jorma Tarhio)
    Slides. Key references:
  • 3 Apr/L: Life after graduation (Pekka Orponen)
    Slides (pdf). Key references: [4,7,8,9,11]
  • 10 Mar/T: No meeting.
  • 17 Mar/T: No meeting (Easter vacation).
  • 24 Apr/T: Personal research plan. Schedule.

Tutorial assignments

  1. Personal study plan & presentation [Due 23 Jan]: Write down your current postgraduate study plan: list of courses, preliminary schedule, possible thesis work. (Submitted to coordinator at tutorial.) Prepare a 5-7 min presentation of your research area and goals in graduate study. (Max 3 slides.)

  2. Annotated bibliography [Due 13 Feb]: Make first a literature search with library resources as described during the lecture, and collect a few (3-5+) articles and describe the central results in the paper briefly (not longer than 150 words). The articles could possibly be of different types: book, conference article, journal article. --- If you are not familiar with what an annotated bibliography is, please take a look at: http://www.library.cornell.edu/okuref/research/skill28.htm

  3. Referee report [Due 20 Mar]: A number of papers by the course coordinators have been placed at your disposal as announced in a separate e-mail. It is your task to select one of the papers close to your own interests, read it, and provide an evaluation of it using a copy of the IEEE standard review form distributed in class on Thu 27 Feb. (Available electronically here.) To simulate a blind review, do not fill in your name on the form even though it is requested there. Your completion of the assignment will be noted on a separate list at the tutorial on 20 Mar where we shall discuss the results of the reviews, and the lessons learned in the exercise. Additional copies of the form are available from the coordinator (P.O.)

    To maintain a sense of realism in the exercise, you should in this case work completely independently, and not discuss the paper with any of your friends or colleagues. Also, please note that many of the papers represent as of yet unpublished work, so you should under no circumstances make additional copies of them or distribute them further. Bring your review copy with you to the tutorial session on 20 Mar and return it to the organisers together with your review form. (This is standard practice in the peer review process. The review assignments are personal and confidential.)

    For some suggestions on how to review papers, at least in the more technical areas of computer science, see the wonderful "Referee's Guide" by Ian Parberry (ref. [31] below). (Observe, however, that Parberry's guide discusses mainly the task of reviewing journal articles, whereas conference refereeing operates under slightly different rules.)

  4. Personal research plan [Due 24 April]: Thought-out discussion of 4-8 pages on what you plan to do in your graduate studies. Follow the guidelines given on pp. 14-15 of the Academy of Finland project proposal form to the extent reasonable. (Form available via WWW at http://www.aka.fi, subpage "English/Academy forms/Application SA 1.2003E"). Discuss the contents of the research plan with your advisor.


  • Pointers to lecture material (slides, papers, key references) will be linked to the schedule above by coordinator.

Reference material

HUT Resources

Graduate Studies & Academic Life

Writing in General

Technical Writing

  • [18] V. Booth, Communicating in Science: Writing and Speaking. Cambridge University Pres, 1984.
  • [19] M. Davis, Scientific Papers and Presentations. Academic Press, New York, NY, 1997.
  • [20] R. A. Day, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 5th Ed. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • [21] N. J. Higham, Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences, 2nd Ed. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, PA, 1998.
  • [22] D. E. Knuth, T. Larrabee, P. Roberts, Mathematical Writing. The Mathematical Association of America, 1996.
  • [23] S. G. Krantz, A Primer of Mathematical Writing. American Mathematical Society, Providence, RI, 1997.
  • [24] Lähteiden käyttö ja viittaaminen tutkimksessa (P. Karonen). (Literature Use and Citation in Research, Finnish & English.)
  • [25] J. Zobel, Writing for Computer Science. Springer-Verlag, Singapore, 1997.
  • Technical Writing in Computer Science (J. Zobel)


  • [26] M. Goossens, F. Mittelbach, A. Samarin, The LaTeX Companion. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1994.
  • [27] G. Grätzer, Math into LaTeX, 3rd Ed. Birkhäuser, Boston, 2000.
  • [28] L. Lamport, LaTeX: A Document Preparation System, 2nd Ed. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1994.
  • [29] T. Oetiker et al., The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX. 2002.
  • TeX Resources on the Web




Feedback is collected at the end of the course using an electronic questionnaire. (English form here.)

Numerical summary of the feedback results.

[TCS main] [Contact Info] [Personnel] [Research] [Publications] [Software] [Studies] [News Archive] [Links]
Latest update: 22 September 2004. Pekka Orponen.