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7COM1084 Advanced Research Topics in Computer Science

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Assignment Briefing Sheet (2021/22 Academic Year)

Section A: Assignment title, important dates and weighting

Assignment title:Research PortfolioGroup or individual:Individual
Module title:Advanced Research Topics in Computer ScienceModule code:7COM1084
Module leader:Catherine MenonModerator’s initials:VS
Submission deadline:17-12-21Target date for return of marked assignment:21-01-22
You are expected to spend about130  hours to complete this assignment to a satisfactory standard.
This assignment is worth50%of the overall assessment for this module.  
Notes for students For undergraduate modules:a score of 40% or above represents a pass performance at honours level.  late submission of any item of coursework for each day or part thereof (or for hard copy submission only, working day or part thereof) for up to five days after the published deadline, coursework relating to modules at Levels 0, 4, 5, 6 submitted late (including deferred coursework, but with the exception of referred coursework), will have the numeric grade reduced by 10 grade points until or unless the numeric grade reaches or is 40. Where the numeric grade awarded for the assessment is less than 40, no lateness penalty will be applied.  For postgraduate modules: a score of 50% or above represents a pass mark. late submission of any item of coursework for each day or part thereof (or for hard copy submission only, working day or part thereof) for up to five days after the published deadline, coursework relating to modules at Level 7 submitted late (including deferred coursework, but with the exception of referred coursework), will have the numeric grade reduced by 10 grade points until or unless the numeric grade reaches or is 50. Where the numeric grade awarded for the assessment is less than 50, no lateness penalty will be applied.  Late submission of referred coursework will automatically be awarded a grade of zero (0).Coursework (including deferred coursework) submitted later than five days (five working days in the case of hard copy submission) after the published deadline will be awarded a grade of zero (0).Regulations governing assessment offences including Plagiarism and Collusion are available from https://www.herts.ac.uk/about-us/governance/university-policies-and-regulations-uprs/uprs (refer to UPR AS14)  Guidance on avoiding plagiarism can be found here: https://herts.instructure.com/courses/61421/pages/referencing-avoiding-plagiarism?module_item_id=779436Modules may have several components of assessment and may require a pass in all elements. For further details, please consult the relevant Module Handbook (available on Studynet/Canvas, under Module Information) or ask the Module Leader.

Assignment Briefing Sheet (2020/21 Academic Year)

This Assignment assesses the following module Learning Outcomes (from Definitive Module Document): Knowledge and understanding: LO1 Have a conceptual understanding of how established techniques of research are used to create and extend existing knowledge in computer science. LO2 Be able to identify a research problem from synthesizing problem definitions from relevant literature. LO3 Demonstrate originality in proposing alternative solutions within a chosen area. Skills and attributes LO4 Critically evaluate research literature and identify research problems to solve LO5 Demonstrate ability to propose alternative approaches for future work in a chosen area. LO6 Communicate research knowledge effectively in scholarly manner. Aim: To provide exposure to research areas in Computer Science drawn from the Department’s research profile in order to provide preparatory ground for students to pursue a deeper investigation of a research topic as part of their Master’s project.  
Assignment Brief: As an MSc research student, you are expected to understand how other areas of computer science relate to your chosen specialism. You must have a grasp of significant current open problems in other specialisms, as well as an understanding of how techniques and methods from other research areas can be applied within your specialism.   In this assignment you must provide an overview of two MSc Research specialism lectures (AI / Networking / Cyber Security / Software Engineering / Data Science) which areNOTthe specialism you discussed in Assignment 1.   For each of these two areas, you must discuss the research question presented within the relevant specialist lecture for this specialism, propose some research approaches to investigate this question and identify further work you might undertake which builds on this. You must also explore your personal strengths in this area.  
Submission Requirements: You are required to submit a Word document containing your report via Studynet.  Your report must not exceed 2800 words (+ / – 10%) in total, made up of 1400 (+ / – 10%) per research specialism. You must include a title page showing the module code, your name, student number, MSc route and the two research specialisms you have chosen.   Please note that you are encouraged to use Turnitin as part of your personal development.
Marks awarded for: Please see the detailed marking scheme below.    
Type of Feedback to be given for this assignment: Feedback will be in the form of a score and tutor comments on your work.  Feedback will be made available via Studynet and email.      

Your task

As part of this assignment you are required to produce an overview of two MSc research specialisms (AI / Networking / Cyber Security / Software Engineering / Data Science) which are NOT the specialism you discussed in Assignment 1. 

Your report must be in two parts:

Part 1:

The first research specialism you are discussing for this assignment. This must be approximately 1400 words (+ / – 10%), and will count for 50% of the grade for this assignment.

You are required to discuss the research question presented within the relevant specialist lecture for this research specialism, propose some research approaches to investigate this question and identify further work you might undertake which builds on the existing research. You must also explore your personal strengths in this area.

Part 2:

The second research specialism you are discussing for this assignment.This must be approximately 1400 words (+ / – 10%), and will count for 50% of the grade for this assignment.

You are required to discuss the research question presented within the relevant specialist lecture for this research specialism, propose some research approaches to investigate this question and identify further work you might undertake which builds on the existing research. You must also explore your personal strengths in this area.

Both Part 1 and Part 2 must include the following sections. The word lengths are provided as guidance only, and no marks will be deducted specifically on the grounds of word length of each section.

1.         Introduction of research specialism (approx. 150 words)

Provide a brief description of thefirst research specialism(Part 1) or second research specialism (Part 2) you have selected for this assignment. This should be accessible to someone with a broad knowledge of computer science, but without any specific knowledge of this specialism.

2.         Open research question (approx. 300 words)

Identify the research question discussed in the relevant subject specialist lecture for this specialism. Describe this research question or problem in detail. Ensure that you describe why this question this is scientifically interesting and / or applicable to a real-world problem.

3. Existing and related work(approx. 400 words)

Provide a brief literature review of existing other work – i.e. not the research specialist paper – that has been done on this problem and on similar problems. Why does this existing other work not fully answer or solve these problems? What are some related open problems? You must make reference to existing work beyond that presented in the paper discussed by the subject specialist.

4. Research approach (approx. 400 words)

Describe the research methods which have been used in the research specialist paper to investigate this question. Evaluate the effectiveness of this research, considering both its advantages and disadvantages. Describe an approach you might take to build on this research to answer related open questions. Remember to draw on the principles of experimental design and theoretical / practical research as introduced in the lectures.

5. Personal investment (approx. 150 words)

Identify how you might gain the necessary strengths and experiences which would help fit you for research in this area.

6.         References

You will need to include at least 10 references for Part 1 and at least 10 references for Part 2 (the lecture material may count as one reference, and you may repeat a reference in both Part 1 and Part 2 provided this is relevant to both). You should use Harvard-style referencing, and your references do not count towards your word count.

For both Part 1 and Part 2, you will be expected to draw on the principles of research writing, literature review and research communication as introduced in the lectures.

You must also use your knowledge and understanding of the topics as supplemented by:

•          the module reading materials;

•          secondary research

Please use the Harvard Referencing System (see http://www.studynet2.herts.ac.uk/ptl/common/LIS.nsf/lis/busharvard) to reference your sources. 

Marking criteria(100 marks)

CriteriaFail / No merit 0-19Clear Fail 20 – 39Marginal Fail 40-49Good / Pass 50-59Very good 60-69Excellent 70-79Outstanding 80-100
ContentReport is factually incorrect in several major aspects and contains significant spelling / grammar and structural errors. References are wholly irrelevant, and inadequate to demonstrate a grasp of the material. Technical terms lacking, or frequently used incorrectly. Research skills demonstrate a clear lack of originality in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem. No appropriate techniques to use within the problem domain are described. Discussion of personal investment is absent, or no attempt to perform critical analysis of self and own behaviour.Report has significant factual errors, in addition to containing spelling / grammar and structural errors. References are sometimes relevant, and inadequate to demonstrate a grasp of the material. Technical terms lacking, or frequently used incorrectly. Research skills do not demonstrate originality in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem. Most techniques described are inadequate to use within the problem domain, failing to demonstrate a grasp of overall expectations in : identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Discussion of personal investment is inadequate for purpose, with little or no attempt to perform critical analysis of self and own behaviour.Report lacks some clarity and has significant  grammar, spelling and structure errors. References are relevant, but inadequate to demonstrate a grasp of the material. Technical terms lacking, or sometimes used incorrectly. Research skills do not demonstrate adequate originality in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem. General use of inadequate techniques to the problem domain, failing to meet overall expectations in : identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Discussion of personal investment is inadequate for purpose, with insufficient critical analysis of self and own behaviour.Adequate clarity of writing, with several spelling / grammar errors and one or more structural errors. Adequate referencing, but does not go beyond the material presented in lecture slides. Use of technical terms is sometimes misleading, and research skills demonstrate adequate originality in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem. Adequate use of appropriate techniques to the problem domain, meeting expectations in : identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Adequate discussion of personal investment, with room for improvement in critical analysis of self and own behavior.  Well-written with potentially several minor spelling / grammar or structural errors.  Ideas presented with clarity. Good referencing, but some mistakes present either in references or use of technical terms. Research skills sometimes demonstrate originality and / or creativity in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem, as well as an adequate grasp of the application of any such solution to this. General use of appropriate techniques to the problem domain, sometimes exceeding expectations in: identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Good discussion of personal investment, demonstrating adequate critical analysis of self and own behavior.  Fluently written with very few errors. Very minor grammar/spelling or structural errors.  Ideas presented with excellent clarity. Excellent referencing in text and generally minimal mistakes in use of technical terms. Research skills demonstrate originality and / or creativityin approach to identifying and resolving an open problem, as well as an excellent grasp of the application of any such solution to this. Excellent use of appropriate techniques to the problem domain, frequently exceeding expectations in terms of identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Excellent discussion of personal investment, demonstrating critical analysis of self and own behavior and recognition of skills and strengths in conducting research.  Outstanding presentation and clarity. No significant grammatical / spelling or structural errors. Ideas presented with exceptional clarity. Outstanding standard and breadth of referencing in text and few, if any, mistakes in use of technical terms. Research skills frequently demonstrate originality and creativity in approach to identifying and resolving an open problem, as well as an outstanding grasp of the application of any such solution to this. Outstanding use of appropriate techniques to the problem domain, consistently exceeding expectations identifying specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely, important and meaningful research solutions. Outstanding discussion of personal investment, demonstrating outstanding critical analysis of self and own behavior and recognition of the role of emotions, skills and strengths in conducting research.    

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