CSC 400 Graduate Problem Seminar: Assignments
First, internalize the problem...
The assignments will be posted here after the day's class,
along with the due date.
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date.
In general, no credit will be allowed for for late assignments.
Turn what you have in in for partial credit.
For any assignment, I expect a well organized
report-style writeup that describes in detail what you did, why you did it,
and what the results were. This includes negative results.
Scratch work and computer code, if requested should be appended to the main
writeup with appropriate pointers.
Attribute ANY work that is not your own, including software off the
web, text cribbed from other sources, etc.
You are encouraged to look for resources, but not to the extent that
it negates the point of the assignment.
This is sometimes a fine line, especially in programming assignments.
I will try to be specific as to what I expect you to write
as a minimum. If in doubt, ask.
In any case, use of UN-attributed material is plagiarism, and a violation
of the University's academic honesty policy.
You are encouraged to discuss general techniques and specific approaches
to general problems with your fellow students, or anyone else.
Unless specifically directed in an assignment, however, you are not to
share code you have written, or your written solutions to specific
Thursday, August 31, 2017
- Class activity: Introductory material, Survey forms.
- Class activity: The game of
- Assignment: Create your department web page and put a picture of
yourself on it. You are responsible for finding out how to do this.
Try asking other students, staff about web pages.
Make a version of your picture that is 128 pixels high in jpg format
and copy it to /u/nelson/pics/faces/csc_400_fall_2017 under the name
first_last_128.jpg (e.g. bob_smith_128.jpg).
The directory should be writeable.
Due: Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
- Class activity: Presentation of plagiarism stories.
- Assignment: Prepare 3 minute "ad" talk on your
Due: Thursday, September 10, 2015.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
- Class activity: ITRG proposal presentations. 3 MINUTES!!
At the end of class, turn in your selection of the top 1 proposal
(not including your own).
- Assignment: Hook your ITRG proposal to your web page.
Due: 1 hour after class ends.
- Assignment: Read and review all proposals assigned to your group.
ITRG panel group.
The proposals should be posted on the proposer's web site by one hour
after class. Send them email reminders or pester them in person if they
have not got a web site up yet.
Bring your reviews with you to class next Tuesday (Sept. 19), one signed,
and one unsigned copy (this will be returned to the proposal writer).
Due: Tuesday Sept 19, 2017.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
- Class activity: 3-minute madness cont.
- Assignment: Proposal review cont.
Tuesday, September 29, 2017
- Class activity: ITRG Panels.
Panels will discuss each proposal, and assign it a ranking of
"highly competitive" (i.e. fund it) "competitive" (i.e. we'd fund it
if we had lots of money) and "noncompetitive" (i.e. has real problems)
For each proposal, one person on the panel should be selected to
lead the discussion, and take notes on the views of the panelists
and the eventual concensus. These notes should be coherently written up as a
"panel summary" and turned at the next class meeting.
Every member of the panel (if possible) should take responsibility
for at least one proposal summary. Put your name on it.
Your reviews (one signed and one blank copy),
your panel summary, and the overall panel rankings will be
collected next class (so you have some time to organize them).
The lead for each proposal should be prepared to present the
panel's decision and reasoning next class.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
- Class Activity: Presentation of panel reviews for ITRG proposals.
- Assignment: In preparation for quiz, discussion, and a written
assignment find (on the web or elsewhere), read, and
understand the entire Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998
(Final Joint version of House Resolution 2281, also known as Public
Law 105-304). This is not a short document, so you should get busy now
- You should also have found, or be close to finding, a supervisor
for your 400 project. Get this lined up by next week, as we will begin
presentations concerning these projects soon.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- Class Activity: DMCA quiz/discussion
Find a legal case that has been litigated in your chosen state
under provisions of the DMCA (or derivative laws), and write up a description
of the case, litigants, arguments, and outcome (say order of 1 page).
USE YOUR OWN WORDS (don't copy from the internet).
Come to class prepared to tell the story of your case.
Due: Thursday, Sept 28, 2017 (presentation and written report)
Thursday, September 28, 2017
- Class activity: DMCA case presentations and discussion.
- Assignment: Learn something about the interests of the URCS prof
with whom you will be doing your 400 project, and be prepared to spend
5 minutes telling the class about this person on Thursday Oct. 6.
Thuesday Oct. 3, 2017
- Class activity: Impressions of URCS profs.
- In preparation for an
to be given (soon), find out
what you can about the crypt function (used for password encryption on
unix/linux) as implemented on the CS department linux installation.
The assignment will involve a password cracking competition
where use of parallel computing resources may be to your advantage
(and there may be competition for these resources).
NOTE: The actual passwords for this assignment will
become available only after class on a particular date.
Any list you find prior to that should be treated as test data.
Solving the test data will earn you no competition credit.
You will have the period after class on a Thursday until the beginning of
class the following Tuesday to run your program.
I do not recommend going right up to the deadline.
However, I do recommend writing and debugging your program before
the data becomes available, and I also recommend
that your program output results in some progressive fashion, so that
even if it does not finish running, you have something.
Printers and machines going down are not an excuse for not submitting
this assignment on time.
(Except maybe if the "big one" happens, and the global internet goes down
- Also, the department holds (semi-)regular department seminars
on Mondays at 12:00 in Wegmans Big Seminar Room.
The first was last Monday.
Attending these seminars is a requirement for all first-year PhD
students, and of this class.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
- Class activity:
Password cracking competition prep(see comments above).
The List to be cracked will become available on Thursday Oct. 12,
after class. Top repeating one point made above, any list you find or
have found prior to that should be considered test data.
Solving it gives you no credit.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Password cracking competition prep(see previous comments).
The list of passwords to be cracked is available NOW!.
You have until the start of class on Tuesday, Oct 17.
Bring in a writeup and have a presentation prepared on how you approached
the problem and how many passwords you cracked.
Don't wait until the last minute to find out you cracked
nothing. Your program should provide some sort of progressive output.
- Assignment: Attend the URCS poster session, Friday Oct 13,
There should be at least 11 posters.
(this is the hard part of this assignment)
so that at least one person talks to each poster presenter
(a couple may get 2 as there may not be 13 posters). That person should
prepare a short writeup describing that research, and a summary they can
present to the class next Thursday.
If you are one of the presenters
(some of you are), talk to someone on a different project.
- Assignment: Individual project proposal.
You should, by now, have identified a potential 400 project and advisor.
Write up the proposed project in a short document; a couple of pages should
be sufficient at this point. However, you should put down specific goals that
are reasonable to accomplish in the time permitted, and discuss how you
will evaluate the outcome of your project.
As mentioned in class, survey papers are not acceptable, nor are
overly broad areas such as "look at new approaches to resolving P !=? NP"
or "software cache coherance in shared memory multiprocessors".
We will have project proposal presentations beginning in just over a week,
so be prepared.
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