CS 190: Senior Seminar

Fall 2005


Prof. Jim Marshall, Andrew 261, 607-8650, marshall@cs.pomona.edu
Prof. Kim Bruce, Millikan 212B, 607-1866, kim@cs.pomona.edu

Meeting Time

Fridays 10:00am-12:00pm in Millikan 206.

Course Description

The main purpose of the senior seminar is to give students an opportunity to build on the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their courses by reading and discussing research papers of current interest from the computer science literature. It also serves as preparation for the senior exercise in the spring, in which students undertake a semester-long project of their own design under the guidance of a faculty advisor. The senior project is intended to be a culminating experience in computer science, providing students with an opportunity to delve more deeply into a topic of particular interest and to synthesize material from their previous CS courses.

Our seminar this year will have two distinct themes: Evolutionary Computation and Computer Security. For most meetings of the seminar, we will read and discuss two papers from the literature on evolutionary computation or security. In some meetings, we will talk about planning and expectations for the senior project in more detail, and you will be asked to describe your ideas for possible topics. At the end of the semester, you will present a full project proposal to the class.

Course Requirements

Attendance and participation are required. Absences, when absolutely necessary, must be arranged in advance.

Students will be responsible for presenting papers and leading the discussion each week. Each paper presentation will be 15 to 20 minutes long, followed by 20 to 30 minutes of discussion. Students who are not presenting should post a short written reaction to the readings on the CS 190 Wiki. Your reactions should not be summaries of the papers, instead they should be the product of the reading process (e.g. questions that occurred to you, ideas that you found particularly interesting, points that were not clear, connections to previous material you've read, and so on), and should include three questions for discussion. You are expected to be an active participant and should come prepared for class every week.

Students may collaborate in pairs on the paper presentations, but are encouraged to present at least one paper on their own. In addition, at the end of the semester each student will present their final project proposal to the class. By early November you should have an idea for a topic, an advisor, and some papers in mind to serve as background resources. The full proposals will be due on the last day of class.


Grades will be based on the quality of presentations (50%), participation and attendance (30%), and the project proposal (20%).

Readings in Evolutionary Computation

Readings in Computer Security


Week Date Topics Presenters
1 August 31 Introduction Faculty
2 September 9 Overview of evolutionary computation
3 September 16 Sims (1994)
Ray (1991)
Ian and Ben
4 September 23 Packard (1988)
Langton (1990)
Shiri and Reavis
5 September 30 Mitchell, Hraber, and Crutchfield (1993)
Hornby and Pollack (2001)
Dan and Mike
6 October 7 Pagie and Mitchell (2002)
Ackley and Littman (1991)
Evan and Erik
7 October 14 Senior project preliminary discussion,
Overview of computer security
Ellison and Schneier (2000),
McGraw and Morrisett (2000), Lampson (2000)
8 No meeting
9 October 28 McLean (1994),
Lampson (1992),
Lampson (1971)
Dan and Reavis
10 November 4 Aleph One (1996),
Pincus and Baker (2004)
Evan and Erik
11 November 11 Discussion of project ideas Everyone
12 November 18 Morris (1973),
Loshi and Leino (2000),
Sabelfeld and Myers (2003)
Ben and Shiri
13 No meeting
14 December 2 Dean et al (1997),
Wallach et al (2000)
Mike and Ian
15 December 9 Proposal presentations Everyone

Final presentation schedule

The final presentations of project plans will be on Friday morning, December 9, starting at 10:00 a.m.. Two students will be making presentations on their final projects that same afternoon.

Morning sessions will be in Millikan 206 (the regular classroom).
Afternoon sessions will be in Millikan 134.

Time Speaker
10:00 Ben Sibelman
10:15 Mike
10:30 Evan
10:45 Ian
11:00 Ben Swanson
11:15 Erik
11:30 Dan
noon Pizza break!
1:30 Reavis
2:00 Shiri