Jason M. Grant

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Senior Seminar


The CSCI 0701 seminar is the capstone experience in the computer science major. At the completion of this course, you will have:

  1. Completed a large, independent software development or CS research project
  2. Surveyed and discussed a variety of literature relating to CS research topics and their applications
  3. Practiced (and enhanced) your technical reading, writing, and presenting skills

In most class sessions:

  • Your classmates will present and lead a discussion about a computer science research paper or current event related to the CS.
  • You will discuss your projects, either formally or informally, and recent headlines in computer science and the tech industry.


60%Final Project
15%Research paper presentations and discussion facilitations 
15%Paper response questions
10%Class participation

Final Project: You will form groups of 1-2 students to implement a large and novel project. You will be responsible for choosing a topic, performing a thorough review of prior work, implementing the project, presenting your work to the class (both verbally and with a poster), and writing a technical report. During the semester you will be expected to maintain a project diary (weekly update) and give a prototype presentation midway through the semester. 

Paper/Article Presentations: Students will present and lead discussions relating to CS research and applications/issues surrounding the computer science community. Two students will present each paper/article and will be responsible for the following:

  1. Giving a 15 minute presentation about paper
  2. Initiating the class discussion
  3. Drafting a list of five (5) discussion questions

Paper Responses: Throughout the semester we will read CS research papers. For each paper, you will be responsible for summarizing the paper by identifying the problem the paper is addressing and the given solution, where applicable. Each group of presenters will curate a list discussion questions, which will initiate the class conversation. You should prepare an answer to this question before the start of class. One response score will be dropped (and you are not expected to respond when you are presenting).

Participation: This is a seminar course and so you are expected to participate regularly in class discussions, interview questions and other class activities. Therefore, attendance is extremely important

Peer review: For each paper discussion, students will be asked to evaluate their peers’ presentation and discussion. Students are required to complete at least 5 evaluations during the semester.

Learning Accommodations
Students with documented disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact me as early in the semester as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Assistance is available to eligible students through Student Accessibility Services. Please contact Jodi Litchfield or Courtney Cioffredi, the ADA Coordinators, for more information: Courtney Cioffredi can be reached at ccioffredi@middlebury.edu or 802-443-2169 and Jodi Litchfield can be reached at litchfie@middlebury.eduor 802-443-5936. All discussions will remain confidential.

Inclusive Learning
Middlebury College supports an inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. It is expected that students in this class will respect differences and demonstrate diligence in understanding how other people’s perspectives, behaviors, and world views may be different from their own.

Honor Code
Students are expected to uphold the Honor Codeoutlined by Middlebury College, and should have a good understanding of what constitutes as cheating or plagiarism. For a refresher, please review Middlebury’s Writing and Plagiarism Guides.

When working on your final project, it is perfectly reasonable to consult public literature and other resources. However, you must reference any source that you draw on for your project. You may incorporate code from other sources as long as you give proper credit and abide by any licensing terms (e.g. including a copyright notice).

If you are ever unsure about how the Honor Code applies, please ask!