Scholarship Skills Winter 2020
PSU CS 669 (PhD students)
Course Overview: The purpose of this course is to make you better scholars. In particular it attempts to make you better researchers, better writers, better presenters, and better reviewers. It concentrates on your reading, writing and composition skills. The course deals with both the production and consumption of the “media” used by computer scientists to communicate today.
You will learn to both read and write papers, such as
conference and journal articles; you will learn to both
listen to and prepare and deliver oral
presentations. You will also learn skills that
will prepare you for your career as a scholar: how to
choose a thesis topic, and how to write a thesis; how to
be an effective reviewer of material written by others;
how to prepare yourself for the job hunt in academia or
industry when you graduate. When you’re through with
this course you should have a feel for the tasks and
activities of modern scholars in informatics.
||PSU CRN: 40933
Class meets: Winter Quarter 2020.
This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TA, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email email@example.com.
Find our class page at: https://piazza.com/pdx/winter2017/cs669/home
Lynne Truss. Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
Gotham, 2004. ISBN 1592400876.
If you are not use how to punctuate English — or if your instructors tells you that you are wrong — let this consise and amusing book be your guide.
Mark Zobel. Writing for Computer
Science. Springer; Third Edition ISBN
978-1-4471-6638-2 (2014) is available as an e-Book as
well as a paperback.
Covers many of the topics of this course. In addition to Writing, has chapters on Hypotheses & Evidence, Style, Punctuation, Mathematics, Algorithms, Graphs, Figures & Tables, Editing, Statistical Principles, and Ethics.
Henry Watson Fowler. The New
Fowler's Modern English Usage, R.W. Burchfield
A standard work, and one that taught me the love of the well-chosen word.
William Zinsser. On Writing Well.
Harpercollins, 1994, and Harper Perennial; Anniversary,
Reprint edition, 2016
A classic book on wrting non-fiction from a former Yale Professor. Not focussed on technical or computer topics.
Mary-Clair van Leunen, A Handbook for
Scholars, 2nd Ed, Oxford University
The authoratative guide to citation, and many other things. Fortunately, effective use of digital citation tools make a lot of the hand-work that Mary-Clair assumes unnecessary. What is doubly necessary, though, is checking your citation database. As with anything in informatice, “Garbage In” leads to “Garbage Out”.
Donald E. Knuth, Tracy Larrabee, and Paul M.
Robers, Mathematical Writing.
A book based on a course that DOn Knuth originally gave at Stanford. The original course notes are online, and make fo rinteresting reading.
William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. Pearson; 4th edition, 2019.
Nichoals Higham, Handbook of Writing for
the Mathematical Sciences, Second Edition.
The Strunk & White of mathematics. If your want to know how to write mathematics, this is your reference.
Robert I. Berkman. Find It Fast:
Extracting Expert Information from Social Networks,
Big Data, Tweets, and More. Sixth Edition.
Harper Perennial, 2015.
Extracting information from the web beyond Google, and why print resources are still relevant.
Gary Blake and Robert W. Bly, The Elements of Technical Writing, Pearson, 2000.
Edward Tufte. The Visual Display of
Quantitative Information, Graphics
From the master of infographics, this and three later books by Tufte are filled with a wealth of examples that explain the principles of creating clear graphics, and why they work