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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department
Course Prefix and Number: CISS 494
Course Title: Senior Seminar in Computer Science
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Culminating experience course required for Computer Science majors. Requires original research project, paper and presentation under the supervision of a computer science faculty member. Grade of C or higher required. The course includes a program evaluation component. Prerequisites: CISS 420, CISS 430, CISS 445 and senior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CISS 420, CISS 430, CISS 445 and senior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall and Spring.
Text(s): No texts are required for this course.

Course Objectives
  • To assess learning outcomes for the major.
  • To acquire and apply research and writing skills appropriate to the field of computer science.
    Measurable Learning
  • Demonstrate how to conduct effective literature searches and create bibliographies pertinent to the current state of research in an area of computer science.
  • Demonstrate how to identify a research direction within an area of computer science and write a preliminary research proposal which includes papers to be studied, a list of resources required for the project, and a timeline for the progress of the project.
  • Conduct research using critical thinking skills and the synthesis of knowledge acquired from other courses.
  • Write effectively through the completion of a research paper of no less than 15 pages in length.
  • Speak effectively and professionally by defending their research orally to a group of their peers.
  • Critically analyze and discuss current literature in the field.
  • Demonstrate competence in required course areas including programming, algorithm design and analysis, data structures, systems analysis and design, computer architecture and assembly language, programming language theory, and database design, construction and querying.
    Topical Outline: The Major Field Test in Computer Science will be administered and students will prepare and defend a research paper of at least 15 pages in length as described below:

  • Conduct a literature search and create bibliography identifying the current state of research in a field of interest
  • Write a research proposal identifying topic to be studied, papers to be read, resources needed, and timeline
  • Perform the work outlined in the research proposal and write the paper
  • Orally present the research paper
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the History Assessment Test (HAT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 10

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Lawrence West Date: October 25, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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