Overview of Graduate Program

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Overview of Graduate Program

Spring 2009

Prof. D. Petkovic

Welcome graduate students!

MS degree becoming a key for advancement

Ability to work with geographically dispersed teams and
multidisciplinary teams is increasingly important

Combination of general CS skills, domain depth and “soft”
skills is critical.

Business skills are a also a plus!

Welcome foreign students


SW trends driving markets, jobs and education

Why MS degree

About CS Department

About the graduate program and new initiatives

About the research, theses and culminating

Foreign student specifics


For specific questions see advisors Profs. Levine,
Murphy or ask in the CS Office

CS Department mission

: to be the best in CSU and world famous in selected
areas of Computer Science

Prepare students for careers in industry

Prepare students for further graduate study

CS WWW site

We offer BS and MS in CS

About 400 undergrads, about 100 grads

Most students have MS as terminal degree, and there are
some going for Ph.D.

MS CS Learning Objectives

addition to basic ones for BS CS

Students will demonstrate in
depth knowledge in one of
the offered concentration areas

Students will demonstrate a breadth of knowledge in
computer science, as exemplified in the areas of systems,
theory and software development

Students will demonstrate ability to conduct a research
or applied Computer Science project, requiring writing
and presentation skills which exemplify scholarly style
in computer science

Important WWW links

and info

CS WWW site

Here you will find all the info about the program
and polices


Page for new grads


Read office e
mail and newsletters

Trends in Software Development


development of computer software through international
cooperation and outsourcing are the main characteristics of current
and future software engineering development process

Increased emphasis on building SW from
components and
services developed globally

Everything is getting

with WWW and wireless

Critical need for making systems
easy to use
, on time and budget,
and with adequate performance, with
geographically dispersed

Open source

software community is another example of global
collaborative approach to SW development.

New areas
: games, sensor networks, biotech, personal devices,
medical informatics…


Jobs are plenty

CS careers are great




New skills are needed

Computing and Life Sciences

Biotechnology, bioinformatics and related applications are
considered next frontiers for computer science, both
technically and in terms of business opportunities

Bay Area is one of the world centers of bioinformatics and
bio technology

SFSU has outstanding programs related to biology and
chemistry/biochemistry and skills and interests from Math

Every major university is having or will have programs in
this area

Increased focus by funding agencies, government,
politicians and university executives

Strong interest among students and faculty

SFSU Center for Computing for Life Sciences

Key “tracks” or MS Concentrations


SW Engineering

Computing for Life Sciences

Computing and Business (New, started Fall

Graduate program description


General, SW. Eng and Computing for Life
Sciences Concentrations

Breadth 9 units

Concentration core 9 units

Electives 6 units

Practicum option 3 units

Culminating Experience 6 units

Total 30
33 units

NEW MS Concentration in Computing and

with SFSU BUS school

Fall 08

3 core CS courses

3 required CS courses as designated in the
General Concentration

1 CS elective course

1 Business elective course, approved by advisor. These are
drawn from 700

or 800
level courses in Business, Management,
Finance, Decision Sciences, or Marketing (3 units)

3 required business courses (8 units)

BUS 780


BUS 788 Mng. Principles

BUS 784 Political, Social and legal Environment

OR BUS 787 Marketing

Equivalent of 2 courses for thesis/project; the thesis/project must
have a business component. The student’s culminating experience
committee will be composed of 2 CS faculty and one Business

Total 38
41 units

Benefits of new MS Concentration
in Computing and Business

Graduates with this concentration will have the skills to

Perform R&D in the computing field

Possess the skills and knowledge to manage software development
teams or start their companies

Assume management responsibilities in organizations that require
managers who understand both the computing and business aspects of
information technology.

Assist with high
tech entrepreneurship ventures

assist in
understanding and relating the technical feasibility of new ideas

Speak to both high
tech groups, and communicate technical ideas and
concepts to non
technical groups in the business organization

Contribute to organizations that provide strategy consulting services to
high technology companies (staff at these companies needs to have
strong backgrounds in both technology and business)

Planning for BUS classes

BUS classes get full

Talk to our advisor Prof. Levine who will
talk to BUS graduate advisor before you
plan to take the cla1sees

Try summer classes too

Center for Computing for Life
Sciences (CCLS)

CCLS is an official multidisciplinary SFSU Center for
addressing problems in

area of Computing for Life
Sciences such as: bioinformatics, imaging, collaborative
tools, UI, visualization, databases, computational biology
and chemistry, applications in drug discovery,
collaborative tools, algorithms etc.

Goal is to develop CCLS into signature “marquee”
program of SFSU

CCLS is joint collaboration between Computer Science,
Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Math, Physics and


CLS projects


DB for large bio data sets

UI for biology and medicine

Biomedical imaging

Data Mining for bio data

WWW for biologist and doctors

Games for medical education

Medical informatics


Many projects have funding. Can get space in CCLS

Professors: Sing, Okada, Young, Murphy, Petkovic

Serious Games for Nursing

NEW CCLS project between CS
department, School of Nursing and Industry
and design

Combines CS, graphics, game concepts

Faculty contact Prof. I. Yoon, M. Wong

Money for research work and culminating
experience projects available

Cluster Computing

New 40 node DELL Cluster operational in CCLS


For projects in computational biology and life

For education (distributed and parallel computing,
data mining…)

Graduate seminar (formerly

Brings outstanding speakers from academia an industry.
Every Wednesdays 5:30 in TH 331. Exposes students to
great topics and great speakers, helps give ideas for
projects and jobs

Each graduate student must collect 10 stickers
(attendances) over several semesters

First two seminars by Prof. D. Petkovic: about graduate
program and about department research

CS faculty will overview their projects

excellent place to
get ideas for culminating experience Starts mid September

check CS WWW page


Thesis and Culminating project


Why Culminating Project?

Forces students to do independent work and complete a
substantial project or scientific work

Requires writing and presentation skills also

Sets you apart from those who have not done it

Enables you to publish papers and go to conferences

Enables CS Department to do research and attract
top notch faculty

important for you too

Makes our school much more fun



Must see advisor upon start of the program

Must attend first Graduate Seminar during the first
term (CS Chair will overview grad program)

Wednesdays 5:30 in TH 331

Should attend Chair’s welcome group meeting at
the beginning of each semester


advising as often as you need

Those planning for Ph. D. program see CS Chair
in the first semester

Advising page

How to complete Culminating
Experience and have fun doing it


What is culminating experience

Why is it good for you

Formal requirements and paperwork

How to find the project and advisor

What is good research/project for culminating experience

How to do it?

How to write the Culminating Experience Report

How to prepare oral presentation

Overview of research in CS Department and CCLS

Culminating Experience

Thesis (CSC 898) vs. Project (CSC 895)


One or two semesters prep (897 or 899) and one
semester thesis or project write
up and completion
(898 or 895)

Those going for Ph. D. talk to CS Chair asap.
Advised to take two semester prep and more
advanced culminating experience, with external

Why is Culminating Experience
good for you

It is Mandatory


Forces students to do independent work and complete a
substantial project or scientific work

Requires writing and presentation skills also

Sets you apart from those who have not done it

Enables you to publish papers and go to conferences

Prepares you for jobs and Ph.D. studies

Enables CS Department to do research and attract
top notch faculty

important for you too

Makes our school much more fun

Formal requirements and

Please follow the process and observe the


Follow the suggested course of study:


How to find advisor and project

Check CS WWW site for faculty pages and their work

Check CS accomplishments and published papers to get an idea what
work is going on and who is doing it, then talk to them



Attend Graduate Seminar Series and other seminars at SFSU

Check CCLS page for current projects

Do your own research for topics (WWW, friends, technical press)

Take the course form the professors teaching your favorite topics
favorite professor

Ask professors, meet with the Chair

Check previous theses and projects

How to find an advisor

Faculty will participate in Graduate Seminars
series and present their work

Prof. Petkovic will meet once a semester with all
grads who do not have an advisor and should have
it (second semester or later).

Main responsibility is on the student

If nothing works see the Chair

Let CS Chair know if you want to go for Ph. D.

What is good research for
culminating experience

Novel algorithm solving something useful

New user interface or visualization

New application (use of complex machine vision, AI, visualization,

Substantial SW project (complex WWW site, useful application etc.)

Data management and analysis system for some application (e.g. drug

Performance study (networking, search, storage, cluster computing)

Computing for life sciences
intersection of CS and biology and chemistry


In all cases one has to prove the usefulness: theoretically, experimentally, user
studies etc.

whichever applies

Culminating experience examples:

How to do the research

Requires independence, focus and follow up

Understanding of the problem

Literature review (what did others do)

Design, analysis, prototyping




It requires much more independence then class work

It is student responsibility to follow up, not the instructor!

Project Proposal

Submitted as part of your culminating experience package

Needed for enrolling into 895


It is a “contract” between you and advisor on what you
want to do, scope, methods, tools used etc. Has to be
approved by the advisor.

Suggested Content: Motivation, planned approach, benefits
of the approach, method/tools to be used, reverences PLUS
milestones and schedule (the best you can)

for exact
outline check with your advisor

About 5
8 pages

How to write culminating
experience report

There is some structure


Usual length about 60
70 pages (no code)

Code on a CD

Requires time

Expect multiple iterations with the instructor

It becomes your “portfolio” for the rest of your life

Make every attempt possible to write a scientific paper
form this (

for those going to Ph. D).

How to prepare oral presentation

Being able to present well is critical for your career

Culminating experience presentation: plan to talk 30 min.
Count 1 slide = 2 min.

Test the presentation on the
very same

laptop you will use

Get feedback from advisor

Do early motivation and demo, then details

Talk to the audience, not the screen

Practice for time and delivery



Overview of research and CS
Department and CCLS

CS Department: check papers, faculty pages



CCLS: Check projects


Some project ideas/people

DB/UI/Applications in biology and bioinformatics and CLS area: Profs.
Singh, Yoon, Okada, Yang, Petkovic

DB Tools, Multimedia databases: Profs. Murphy, Singh, Petkovic

Bioinformatics: Prof. Singh

Visualization/Graphics: Profs. Yoon, Okada

WWW Applications, Community applications: Prof. Levine

Performance: Prof. Dujmovic

WWW info retrieval, WWW 2.0: Profs. Singh, Wong

Algorithms, compilers, WWW search: Profs. Wong, Dujmovic

Distributed Systems, Open Source: Prof. Puder

Multimedia, sound, music: Profs. Hsu, Singh

Games: Profs. Yoon, Okada

AI, Computer Vision: Prof. Okada, J. Dujmovic

Data Mining: Prof. Yang

Decision Systems: J. Dujmovic

SW Engineering, Business aspects of SW Eng., SW Metrics: Profs.
Petkovic, Levine, Dujmovic

Foreign students

Welcome foreign students!

Learn about USA: customs, culture, geography

Bay Area is one of the bets areas in USA: geographically,
culturally, for education and technology

Get internships with local industry

Visit places, talk to people from different cultures

Learn English (reading, writing)

Have fun!

Welcome foreign students

Keep GPA and class load above the minimum

GPA 3.0, class load 9 units

New “practicum” option for summer internships: Max 3
one unit 893 can be taken that do not count toward
electives and allow you permit to work outside of SFSU.
Mostly for Summer work. Total units in MS program are
then are 33. Need to be at SFSU two semesters prior to

Internships during the Fall and Spring only rarely
approved, must be part time, GPA > 3.4 and OK of the

Post completion training allowed only when thesis is more
than 90% complete, need confirmation by the advisor
AND letter signed by student about the rules (NEW).

Update on Written English proficiency

Level I Requirement:

Computer science students admitted to the M.S. program
are required to satisfy English Level One prior to the end
of their first year of study at SFSU. As a departmental
policy, no waivers are given. Level One is satisfied by
obtaining either a) a score of 4 or better on the GRE
Analytical Writing Exam or b) a score of PASS on the
Graduate Essay Test (GET, administered by the SFSU
Testing Center) or c) a passing grade in SCI 614 or CHS
514 (international graduate students are strongly
encouraged to enroll in Eng 670, if it is offered). Students
may enroll in CHS 514 if all sections of SCI 614 are full.
SCI 614 is strongly recommended for all students who
wish to develop their skills in professional writing.
Students are allowed to take the GET only once, preferably
prior to their first semester of enrollment.


Important stuff

Visit WWW site and read e

Program description

Graduate page

New grads page

Importance of early advising. New students MUST see

Recommended sequence of study, selection of

second semester; finding the advisor

Graduate seminar series requirement


new polices on 893 (practicum)

for foreign students


All steps in preparing culminating project forms

Culminating experience

How to write culminating project report

Cheating and plagiarism

International program

Fulda, Germany