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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2016-17


Computer Science - Graduate

Chair: Hany Farid

Professors C. J. Bailey-Kellogg, A. T. Campbell, M. Casey, A. Chakrabarti, T. H. Cormen, R. L. Drysdale III, H. Farid, P. Jayanti, D. F. Kotz, D. Rockmore, S. W. Smith, P. Winkler; Associate Professors D. Balkcom, L. Torresani; Assistant Professors G. Grigoryan, W. Jarosz, Q. Liu, E. Whiting, X. Yang, X. Zhou; Lecturers P. Hannaway, J. Mahoney, T. Tregubov; Research Professor L. Loeb; Research Associate Professor S. L. Bratus; Adjunct Professors M. Cohen, A. Gettinger, M. D. McIlroy, W. M. McKeeman, C. E. Palmer; Adjunct Associate professor A. Farid; Adjunct Assistant Professors R. Halter, Y. Halchenko, S. Hassanpour, I. Khayal, O. Zhaxybayeva.

 

To view the Computer Science Graduate courses, click here.

To view the Computer Science Undergraduate requirements,
click here.

To view the Computer Science Undergraduate courses,
click here.

  

Graduate Study in Computer Science

The Department of Computer Science offers programs leading to the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science. Each is described below.

Requirements for the Doctor’s Degree (Ph.D.)

During the first year, students engage in research projects with faculty and start to take a set of core graduate courses and topics courses. In the second year and beyond, students become progressively more engaged in research while completing their course requirements. The requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science are as follows:

  1. Admission to the degree program by an admissions committee of the Computer Science faculty.
  2. Students should take a minimum of two terms of research in both their first and second years and be supervised by a tenure-track faculty member.
  3. By the beginning of the second year each student should write a high-quality paper that describes in detail his or her research efforts and results to date, including motivation, relation of the student’s work to the work of others, and specifics about results or obstacles faced in obtaining results.
  4. By the end of spring term of the second year, each student must have a Ph.D. advisor who is a member of the tenure-track faculty in Computer Science. Students may change advisors after this point, but they should not be without an advisor for more than a term.
  5. Completion of a course of study that includes the following:
    1. COSC 170, COSC 231, and COSC 258. These are the breadth courses. Note that these courses have prerequisites that are listed with the description of each course.
    2. All students must pass at least eight courses numbered between 130 and 199 or between 211 and 294, including the breadth courses listed in requirement (a) above. The special topics courses, numbered 149, 169, and 189, may be taken multiple times and will be counted as distinct courses for this purpose. At most one course from outside Computer Science may be substituted, with permission of the departmental advisor to Ph.D. students. Computer science courses numbered 100-129 do not qualify for any Ph.D. required course.
      A student’s course of study is subject to the approval of the departmental advisor to Ph.D. students. Students normally take the breadth courses specified in requirement (a) above by the end of their second year.
  6. Students are expected to pass the Research Presentation Exam by the end of the winter term of their third year. An examining committee consisting of three faculty members, appointed by the departmental advisor to Ph.D. students, will select a paper for the student to present. The student will have a month to read the paper, and will then present the paper to the committee and will orally answer questions on the paper. The committee will evaluate the student’s presentation and performance answering questions, and will determine whether the student passes the examination. A student is allowed two attempts to pass the exam. In a second attempt, the student is assigned a new paper, but not necessarily a new committee. Passing the Research Presentation Exam is a prerequisite to thesis proposal (see requirement 8 below). For more details on this exam, consult the Computer Science department web page.
  7. At least one term of participation in undergraduate teaching. That is, the student must pass COSC 296.
  8. Each student must display readiness for research in one area by giving a written and a public oral presentation of his or her research plan. This thesis proposal will be judged by a faculty committee which shall be formed for the purpose of guiding the student's research; the rules used for the composition of this committee are the same as for a Ph.D. defense committee; this committee does not require the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies, but must be approved by the departmental advisor to Ph.D. students. The presentation will be followed by a question period in which the student demonstrates mastery of the relevant area and defends the proposed thesis plan.
  9. Six terms in residence at Dartmouth. (This is a College requirement.)
  10. Preparation of a thesis acceptable to a faculty committee and a public defense of this thesis. The rules governing the composition of this committee are stated on the department's website. This committee must be approved by department advisor to Ph.D. students and the Dean of Graduate Studies. All members of the committee shall read and sign the thesis in its final form.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree (M.S.)

We have two tracks in the M.S. program: a coursework track and a thesis track.

  1. For the coursework track, the student must satisfactorily complete thirteen Computer Science courses taken for graduate credit. At least five of these courses must be numbered 130 or higher. At least one of these thirteen must be an advanced topics graduate course in Computer Science (listed as COSC 149, COSC 169, and COSC 189). Any courses taken outside of the Computer Science department must be approved by the departmental advisor to Master’s students. The student may use up to two research credit courses (e.g., 297–299) to satisfy these requirements, but only if the student earns a P or an HP and the M.S. advisor approves the substitution. Per department policy, selected upper-level undergraduate courses may count for graduate credit for the M.S. degree.
  2. For the thesis track, the student must satisfy these coursework and research requirements:
    1. The student must satisfactorily complete nine Computer Science courses taken for graduate credit. At least three of these courses must be numbered 130 or higher. At least one of these nine must be an advanced topics graduate course in Computer Science (listed as COSC 149, COSC 169, and COSC 189). Any courses taken outside of the Computer Science department must be approved by the departmental advisor to Master’s students. No research credit courses (e.g., 297–299) may be used to satisfy these requirements. Per department policy, selected upper-level undergraduate courses may count for graduate credit for the M.S. degree. Computer science courses numbered 100-129 do not qualify for any M.S. required course.
    2. By the end of the third term of enrollment, the student must petition to and be accepted for the thesis track by the departmental Master’s committee.
    3. The student must successfully complete at least six course equivalents of research from COSC 297, COSC 298, or COSC 299.
    4. By the end of the fourth term of study, the student must complete a thesis proposal, consisting of a written document and a public presentation. This thesis proposal will be judged by a faculty committee chosen by the student; the rules used for the composition of this committee are the same as for an M.S. defense committee as noted in requirement (e) below.
    5. The student must prepare a thesis acceptable to a faculty committee and give a public defense of this thesis. The thesis should represent mostly independent work, and be of sufficient quality to merit publication (with suitable revision) in a refereed venue. The committee shall be formed for the purpose of guiding the student’s research. The chair of this committee, who is the student’s primary research advisor, must be a tenure-track or research-track faculty member in the Computer Science department. In addition to the chair, the committee must include at least one other tenure-track or research-track Computer Science faculty member. The committee must comprise at least three faculty members, one of whom may be from outside the Computer Science department, though an outside member is not required. This committee must be approved by the departmental advisor to M.S. students and by the Dean of Graduate Studies. All members of the committee shall read and sign the thesis in its final form. We expect that the thesis, including a copy of the signature page, shall be published as a departmental Technical Report.

All students start out in the coursework track. As noted in 2(b) above, students may then apply to move to the thesis track. (Students may also petition to move back to the coursework track, although we expect that will be uncommon.)

Students are expected to complete the M.S. degree in a maximum period of seven consecutive terms, excluding summer terms.

Students who are currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in a department other than Computer Science at Dartmouth may apply for a tuition scholarship and to be considered for concurrent enrollment.

The Computer Science M.S. degree is not intended to be an outlet for students leaving the Computer Science Ph.D. program (nor is it intended to be a degree concurrent with a Computer Science Ph.D.).

4+1 A.B./M.S. Program in Computer Science

Dartmouth undergraduates can stay for as little as one additional year and obtain an M.S. degree in Computer Science. A student may reduce the number of courses required for the M.S. degree by up to five courses, making possible an M.S. degree with as few as eight additional courses in the coursework track or as few as four additional courses in the thesis track. Each Computer Science course taken as an undergraduate that can count for graduate credit counts toward the limit of five. The eligible courses are those that are cross-listed as graduate courses (those numbered xx/1xx), as well as the courses available for graduate credit that are listed on the department website. Dartmouth Computer Science majors who apply to the 4+1 program need not submit GRE scores.

 

M.S. Degree in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts

Students in this concentration complete a mix of Computer Science courses, Digital Arts courses, and research/thesis. They experience a rigorous and focused computer science education, foundational courses in digital arts, and a deep dive into a research topic within the areas of visual computing and digital arts (e.g., computer graphics, human-computer interaction, digital fabrication, digital art and media, computer vision, virtual reality, and artificial reality). Students in this concentration, by design, will come from a wide variety of backgrounds. All students will have successfully completed an undergraduate degree at a four-year college/university (Dartmouth students are encouraged to apply to the Integrated 4+1 A.B./M.S. Program in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts). All students must have completed the equivalent of Dartmouth’s COSC 1 and COSC 10 courses, with a grade of B+ or better. Students are also expected to have majored or minored in at least one of the areas we consider a foundational area of visual computing and Digital Arts. These areas include, but are not limited to, Computer Science, Digital Arts, Engineering, Studio Art/Design, Computer Animation/Modeling, Computational Photography, Physics, Mathematics, and Architecture.

The M.S. Degree in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts is divided into three areas: Technical Courses (general graduate-level Computer Science courses); Digital Art Courses; and Research/Thesis Courses. At the end of the program, all students will write a thesis based on their research and then present and defend their work. Courses required for the degree will depend on the background of each student. All students must take at least nine courses and nine research credits. Of the nine courses, at least six must be graduate-level Computer Science courses.

Specific requirements for the M.S. Degree in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts are as follows:

  1. Technical Courses: The student must satisfactorily complete at least five Computer Science courses taken numbered above 100. The number of courses needed depends on the background of the student (students with a Computer Science major as an undergraduate require fewer courses than those without). At least one must be an advanced topics graduate course in Computer Science (listed as COSC 149, COSC 169, and COSC 189). No research credit courses (e.g., 297–299) may be used to satisfy these requirements. Per department policy, selected undergraduate courses may count for graduate credit for the M.S. degree; a grade of B+ or better is required in Computer Science courses graded on an undergraduate scale.
    1. Two of the courses must be COSC 165, COSC 177, COSC 183, or COSC 50.
    2. At least two of the following: COSC 30, COSC 31 (all students must complete COSC 31, or its equivalent), COSC 61, COSC 76, COSC 81, COSC 170, or COSC 189.
    3. At least one of the following: COSC 129, COSC 56/ENGS 31, ENGS 21, COSC 73, MUS 102, or MUS 103.
    4. Courses not listed may be substituted for the courses above with the approval of the Program Advisor.
    5. All Computer Science coursework must be completed by the end of the fifth term.
  2. Digital Arts Courses: Students must take at least two courses outside the Computer Science department. These courses will round out the graduate education and provide hands-on arts (Digital Arts, performing arts, visual arts, musical arts, design) experience. The departmental advisor to the Computer Science/Digital Arts Program (in consultation with the student's primary advisor) must approve any courses taken outside the Computer Science department.  All Digital Arts coursework must be completed by the end of the fifth term.
  3. The student must successfully complete at least nine course equivalents of research from COSC 294, COSC 297, COSC 298, or COSC 299.  Two of the courses must be in the Computer Science/Digital Arts section of COSC 294, which would be taken in the Fall term each year.
  4. By the end of the fourth term of study, the student must complete a thesis proposal, consisting of a written document and a public presentation. A faculty committee (chosen by the student) will evaluate the thesis proposal; the rules used for the composition of this committee are the same as for an M.S. defense committee as noted in requirement 5 below.
  5. Thesis Requirement: Each student must complete a research project based on independent, original research. Students can work in a team as long as their work is easily identified and with the permission of the graduate advisor. The research project results in a written thesis. The research/thesis must be approved by the graduate advisor and successfully defended in an oral presentation, according to the following guidelines:
    1. The student must prepare a thesis acceptable to a faculty committee and give a public defense of this thesis.
    2. The research/thesis should be of sufficient quality to merit publication or exhibition (with suitable revision) in a refereed venue. Projects will be suitable for distribution, use and/or exhibition.
    3. The committee shall be formed for the purpose of guiding the student’s research. The chair of this committee, who is the student’s primary research advisor, must be a tenure-track or research-track faculty member in the Computer Science department. In addition to the chair, the committee must include at least one other tenure-track or research-track Computer Science faculty member. The committee must comprise at least three members, one of whom may be from outside the Computer Science department or outside Dartmouth, though an outside member is not required. This committee must be approved by the departmental advisor to M.S. students and by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
    4. All members of the committee shall read and sign the thesis in its final form. We expect that the thesis, including a copy of the signature page, shall be published as a departmental Technical Report.

Integrated 4+1 A.B./M.S. Program in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts

We encourage Dartmouth undergraduates to consider staying on for a Computer Science M.S. degree with a concentration in Digital Arts.

Objective and Overview: A 4+1 program to provide Dartmouth undergraduate students an opportunity to acquire a broader and deeper education in Digital Arts through a combination of coursework and independent research under the direction of one of the program faculty. With integration of the courses and a substantial effort in the independent research carried out during the senior year, the M.S. can be obtained in one year directly after completing the A.B. at Dartmouth.

Prerequisite Courses: Students wishing to enter the program must demonstrate proficiency in each of the following areas: Computer Science and Digital Arts. Such proficiency will normally be demonstrated by completing the following Dartmouth College courses with at least a B grade prior to entering the Master’s Program: COSC 1, COSC 10, COSC 22, COSC 24, COSC 27.  These five courses are the three that comprise the core of the Digital Arts Minor plus COSC 1 and COSC 10.

An interim evaluation will be made after each term and continuation within the Master’s Program will be recommended for those students whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory independent research.

Specific Requirements for the Integrated 4+1 A.B./M.S. Program in Computer Science with a Concentration in Digital Arts are as follows:

  1. Course Distribution Requirements: This is a four-term program (fall, winter, spring, summer). In addition to the prerequisite courses described above, each student must pass with a grade of P or better six courses in the following distribution:

    It is expected that the six courses be completed as early in the program as possible, with at least two courses per term.

  2. Students must complete six research credits by passing a combination of COSC 297, COSC 298, and COSC 299.
  3. Thesis Requirement: Each student must complete a research project based on independent, original research.  Students can work in a team as long as their work is easily identified and with the permission of the graduate advisor.  The research project will result in a written thesis.  The research/thesis must be approved by the graduate advisor and successfully defended in an oral presentation, according to the following guidelines:
    1. The student must prepare a thesis acceptable to a faculty committee and give a public defense of this thesis.
    2. The research/thesis should be of sufficient quality to merit publication or exhibition (with suitable revision) in a refereed venue. Projects will be suitable for distribution, use and/or exhibition.
    3. The committee shall be formed for the purpose of guiding the student’s research. The chair of this committee, who is the student’s primary research advisor, must be a tenure-track or research-track faculty member in the Computer Science department. In addition to the chair, the committee must include at least one other tenure-track or research-track Computer Science faculty member. The committee must comprise at least three members, one of whom may be from outside the Computer Science department or outside Dartmouth, though an outside member is not required. This committee must be approved by the departmental advisor to M.S. students and by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
    4. All members of the committee shall read and sign the thesis in its final form. We expect that the thesis, including a copy of the signature page, shall be published as a departmental Technical Report.