Please ignore the message below if you started the PhD CS program **
before 2021 **. On the other hand, if you started in Spring 2021 or Fall
2021, please read carefully!
Dear PhD CS students,
If you started the program in Spring'20 or Fall'20, you must take CS 701 in
CS 701 ("Research Experience in Computer Science") is an important
milestone of the PhD CS program.
CS 701 has "individualized" sections (very much like CS 896 or CS 998)-- that
is, the student conducts research (appropriate for early-stage PhD students)
under the supervision of a CS faculty member for one semester. CS 701 does not
have regular classroom meetings; rather you interact with your CS 701 faculty
supervisor as needed. At the end of this e-mail you will find an FAQ prepared by
the PhD Committee.
I suggest that you be in touch with multiple CS faculty
members, and learn about possible CS 701 research projects, the
requirements of the faculty, before making a decision. It is only natural
to collect information from multiple faculty first and give some thought!
All CS faculty are informed that the students will need time to think
about possible options.
Moreover, your first-choice faculty may not be available to supervise your
CS 701 project, due to limited availability. Also, faculty members may not
supervise large number of CS 701 projects during one semester.
Consequently, being in touch with several faculty will give you more
In fact, the main reason why we give you 2-month advance notice is that
you will need time to communicate with CS faculty and think about the options.
Use the available time wisely.
** Please submit the completed CS 701 forms to [log in to unmask] and
[log in to unmask] no later than November 30, 2021. **
In the attachment of this e-mail, you will find the CS 701 registration form
(the FAQ below gives more information about the registration process).
** Please give a few minutes to read the FAQ below. **
Dr. Hakan Aydin
Director, PhD Program in Computer Science
George Mason University
Computer Science Department
4400 University Drive - MSN 4A5
Fairfax, VA - 22030
Phone: (703) - 993 3786
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
FAQ for CS 701 "Research Experience in Computer Science"
Q: What is involved in CS 701 "Research Experience in Computer Science"?
A: In CS 701, the PhD student is assigned readings and completes an
initial "research activity" under the guidance of a faculty member from
the Computer Science department. At the end of the semester, the student
submits a professionally prepared report about his/her activities and
findings in CS 701.
All CS 701 students will give brief presentations about their research
activities at the end of the semester, during a public meeting. The PhD
degree requirements state that the PhD students should receive a grade of
B or better in CS 701.
Q: What is the expected workload in CS 701?
A: CS 701 carries three credits; and the workload should be comparable to
any semester-long 3-credit course.
Q: How does a student enroll in CS 701?
A: Officially the student needs to identify a CS faculty member who is
willing to supervise the CS 701 research activity during the
semester. As part of that, the student and the faculty need to agree
on the topic and scope of the research, as well as the list of the
deliverables that will be submitted at the end of the semester (beyond
the official CS 701 semester report). This may include, for example,
any software or additional written analysis that will be submitted by
the student, and regular in-person meetings between the student and
the faculty. Once the student and faculty agree on these, the CS 701
"enrollment form" (which is attached) will be filled out, signed by
both the student & faculty and submitted to the CS department office.
**Please send the completed CS 701 form (pdf) to both [log in to unmask] and
[log in to unmask]**
Once the form has been approved by the department, the student will
receive an e-mail from the department indicating the CRN for the
individualized CS 701 section and (s)he can enroll in the specified CS
701 section using the communicated CRN. Note that this may take several
weeks because the department issues CRNs in multiple batches.
Q: When should the CS 701 form be submitted?
A: The deadline is ** November 30, 2021 **. This is a firm deadline.
Q: Is it possible to complete the CS 701 requirement by only reading and
summarizing research papers (comprehensive literature review)?
A: No. While it is expected that most CS 701 assignments will involve
reading research papers, it should additionally involve some
"hands-on" research activity such as reproducing and commenting on the
experiments reported in an existing paper, developing/implementing a
new scheme (or, an extension to an existing scheme) for a problem and
comparing to other existing schemes. This extra "hands-on" activity
must be specified on the CS 701 enrollment form.
Q: Does the faculty supervising the CS 701 activity automatically become
the PhD research advisor of the student?
A: No. CS 701 is meant to provide a first (and non-trivial) research
experience to the students in the PhD CS program; determining the PhD
research advisor is a separate process. There is a specific “PhD advisor
declaration form” that must be signed by the student & advisor and
submitted to the department within the first 24 credits in the program.
However, it is quite possible that a productive CS 701 collaboration
between the student and faculty will indeed turn into a PhD
advisor-advisee relationship over time.