CSC 600
Graduate Orientation
F 12:50-1:40  1021/1025 EB-II


CSC 600 is a required course designed to introduce new graduate students to three important topic areas:

  1. Information about the graduate program, the department, and the university that is relevant to all incoming graduate students.
  2. A description of research projects being conducted by faculty in the Computer Science department.
  3. An introduction to industrial partners, their companies, and their interactions with graduate students in our department.

During the first five CSC 600 lectures students will learn useful information about the graduate program in computer science, the department, and the university library system. Students will also meet the people responsible for managing these resources. Introductory lectures will be held in 1025 EB-II for students in Section 001 and in 1021 EB-II for students in Section 002.

Following these introductory topics, the remaining lectures will be split into two tracks.

The Research Track is made up of presentations by department faculty. Each faculty member will introduce themselves, discuss their research interests, and describe one or more research projects they are conducting. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about ongoing research in the department in preparation for choosing thesis topics, supervisors, or graduate courses. Research lectures will be held in 1021 EB-II.

The Industrial Partners Track is made up of presentations by representatives from companies that partner with the department. Each company representative will introduce themselves, then discuss their company and its vision, goals, and ongoing projects that overlap with topics of interest for graduate Computer Science students. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about companies the department collaborates with in preparation for choosing courses related to these projects. It also offers an opportunity to learn about possibilities for internships and full-time employment after graduation. Industrial Partners lectures will be held in 1025 EB-II.

Although our expectation is that PhD and MS students will attend the Research Track, and MCS students will attend the Industrial Partners Track, students are free to try to attend whichever track they prefer each week, following the introductory lectures. However, due to class size restrictions, please carefully read the constraints discussed below.

Directions are available for participants driving from off-campus.


Although there will be no assignments or tests, a specific level of attendance in CSC 600 is MANDATORY. Any student who does not meet this minimum level of attendance will not receive credit for the course, and will be required to re-register during the next fall semester. You cannot graduate without successfully completing CSC 600.

Students cannot miss more than three lectures total during the semester. These absences are provided to allow students to manage other responsibilities while still maintaining appropriate attendance in CSC 600. Here are some examples of situations where students might need an allowed absence from CSC 600:

Note:  In none of these cases would we provide an exception to the attendance rule. Therefore, if you anticipate these types of situations arising during the semester, DO NOT "use up" your three allowed absences and expect us to allow additional absences because you "have to do X" but you don't have any allowed absences left. Your only recourse in this situation will be to drop CSC 600, and re-enroll the following academic year.

Attendance will be taken through a summary sheet, where students are asked to fill in short, simple answers to questions about each week's presentation. Summary sheets will be handed out at the beginning of each class, and collected at the end of the lecture. Receipt of a summary sheet with acceptable answers will be used to confirm a student's attendance for the given class. Note that one common example of unacceptable answers is an answer sheet where some questions are left blank, or include a single word answer that has no relationship to the lecture that was given. We don't expect (or want) long answers, but we will not mark you as having attended for summary sheets that are answered in an incomplete or irrelevant manner.

Attending less than 80% of a lecture will not be counted as "fully attending the lecture." Because of this, we will provide summary sheets up to 10 minutes after a lecture begins (i.e., until 1:00pm). After that, summary sheets will no longer be available for that lecture, and you will therefore be unable to claim attendance for the lecture.

For the first five lectures of the semester, students are required to go to the section and classroom they are enrolled in: 1025 EB-II for section 600-001, and 1021 EB-II for section 600-002.

Normally, we allow students to pick the lecture they want to attend (Faculty Research or Industrial Partner) each week following the introductory lectures. However, because of classroom sizes, enrollment limits, and anticipated over-attendance in the Faculty Research section of the CSC 600 class (CSC 600-002, EB-II 1021), we're forced to institute some modifications to CSC 600 class attendance for the remainder of the term.

This year, by default you will now be required to attend the section you are enrolled in for the entire semester. That means all CSC 600-001 students will attend the Industrial Partner lecture in 1025 EB-II, and all CSC 600-002 students will attend the Faculty Research Lecture in 1021 EB-II.

If you want to attend the opposite lecture, but you are not in that lecture's section, you can wait outside 1021/1025 EB-II until class starts at 12:50. If there is space available in the class at that time, you can attend.

Please be aware, if you choose to try to get into your non-section classroom, and the classroom is full, make sure you have enough time to get back to your proper classroom within the 10-minute grace period. It will not be valid excuse to tell us "I went to the other classroom, but it was full, so I couldn't get to the other classroom in time." Since the classrooms are side-by-side, that would be a difficult argument to justify.

Updating Your EMail Address

For all students, your Unity email address is your official university address. You are responsible for monitoring email sent to this address. In particular, course-related email messages are automatically sent to your Unity email account.

It is possible to have Unity email forwarded to a different account. See this page for a link that describes how to do this, and for other important information about your university email account.

Computer Science Graduate Student Association

If you'd like to participate or learn more about the department's Graduate Student Association, they maintain a web page with information about current and future graduate student events.

Academic Integrity

All students at the university are expected to understand and agree to the university's code of student conduct. This document explains the various types of behaviour that are not allowed, including cheating, plagiarism, aiding and abetting, disorderly conduct, and so on.

For CSC 600, common examples of academic integrity violations include (but are not limited to):

For confirmed cases of academic integrity violations, in addition to any university-mandated sanctions, students will receive a failing grade in CSC 600.

Tentative Schedule

Below is the tentative schedule for topics and presenters, split into the introductory lectures (which all students attend as a single group), and the research/industrial partner tracks (where students choose which track to attend each week).

Introductory Lectures

Date CSC 600-002: 1021 EB-II CSC 600-001: 1025 EB-II
Aug. 18
Dr. Laurie Williams, Interim Department Head; Dr. George Rouskas, Director of Graduate Programs; Dr. Matt Stallmann, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs; Dr. Christopher G. Healey
Introduction, graduate program information
Aug. 25
Dr. Timothy Menzies
Professor, Department of Computer Science
Software engineering, data mining, AI optimization, search-based SE
Introduction to Career Services
Sep. 1
Mr. Alex Carroll
Research Librarian, Engineering and Biotechnology
Introduction to NCSU library facilities
Mr. Bradley Davis
Associate Director, Office of Student Conduct
Introduction to student and community standards
Sep. 8
Dr. Vanessa Doriott Anderson
Program Manager, NCSU Graduate School
Professional Development Program
Mr. Carlos Benavente
IT Manager, Computer Science
Sep. 15
Mr. Carlos Benavente
IT Manager, Computer Science

Research and Industrial Partners Lectures

Date Research Track: 1021 EB-II Industrial Partners Track: 1025 EB-II
Sep. 22
Lisa Tivey
Sep. 29
Cryptography, privacy
Gina Likins
Oct. 13
Security, mobile security
Joanne Henderson
Oct. 20
Spatial-temporal data management, analytics, HPC
Stephanie Chalk
Oct. 27
Architecture, OS, cloud computing, parallel & distributed systems, HPC
Aisha Jackson
Nov. 3
Program analysis, code search, crowdsourcing, software engineering
Lindsay Whitfield
Nov. 10
Algorithms, theory, scientific computing, HPC
Jessica Gallins
Nov. 17
Software engineering, HCI
Becky Olson
Dec. 1
Computer-assisted peer assessment, refactoring, object-oriented design
Anna Kuruc