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Student Conference in Computing Science, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Student Conference in Computing Science

This syllabus is valid: 2018-07-23 and until further notice

Course code: 5DV184

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Computing Science: Second cycle, has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: TH teknisk betygsskala

Responsible department: Department of Computing Science

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-08-08

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2018-06-25


The course teaches scientific writing, scientific conduct and quality of research. The student develops and answers a new and non-trivial research question in the fields of computer science or interaction & design. The student then conducts the research and writes the paper under the teachers’ supervision and peer reviewing. The final version of the paper is submitted via a conference system and reviewed by anonymous reviewers. All accepted papers are published in a technical report by the Department of Computing Science and presented by the author at an internal conference. Learning goals include that the student will develop the abilities to make independent investigations and research, write a scientific paper about the work, and present the results orally.

The course is designed as follows. The students are supervised by the teachers on an individual basis and by peer review groups consisting of other students from the course. The peer review meetings are mandatory. Each student has to read all drafts from the other students in the group and come prepared to the meetings. All students’ papers are discussed and suggestions for improvements are made. The course has 6 deliverables in the form of ongoing/final/revised paper submissions to support the students’ progression, and 5 supporting lectures.

The students will be divided into groups depending on their workloads during LP1 and LP2. Group 1 members can work more intensely on the course during LP1 (September-October) and Group 2 members can work more intensely on the course during LP2 (November-January). The planning of the course will be as follows.
  • Group 1 and Group 2 should both do their topic selection at the start of the course.
  • Group 1: Peer review 1 (Mid September)
    • Peer review 2 (Beginning of October)
    • Peer review 3 (Mid/End October)
    • The student is supposed to have most of the work done in the beginning of the course. This means that the paper is basically finished by the end of October
  • Group 2: Peer review 1 (Beginning November)
    • Peer review 2 (Mid/End November)
    • Peer review 3 (Beginning /Mid December)
    • Papers basically done mid of December.
  • Final deadline all papers December 15 (or the working day closest to December 15).
  • Programme committee (teachers on the course together with researchers at the department) read and deliver reviews before Christmas.
  • The student will get notification before Christmas.
  • Revised versions are handed in by students in the first or second week of January.
  • Then the proceedings are printed and the conference is held approximately a week later.

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding
After having completed the course the student will be able to: 
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in a subfield (beyond Bachelor-level) of computer science. The subfield is chosen by the student based on his/her previous studies and in consultation with the course responsible teacher (FSR 1)
Skills and Abilities
After having completed the course the student will be able to: 
  • demonstrate ability for applying knowledge and understanding (see FSR 1) in a new situation, that is, identify a non-trivial research question and relevant methodology for answering it (FSR 2),
  • demonstrate ability to analyze and evaluate results of the application in FSR 2 (FSR 3),
  • identify the relevant scientific literature for a specific research question using different scientific databases and search engines (FSR 4),
  • write a scientific article in English (FSR 5),
  • provide constructive feedback on another student's work (FSR 6),
  • receive feedback on the work and use it to improve their article (FSR 7),
  • work in a team and take shared responsibility for the peer review groups’ progress (FSR 8),
  • deal with and respect hard deadlines (FSR 9),
  • demonstrate experience of writing a scientific article for a conference that applies the peer review system (FSR 10), and
  • present the article orally in English (FSR 11).
Values and Attitudes
After having completed the course the student will be able to: 
  • demonstrate a zero tolerance policy with respect to plagiarism or copyright infringement (FSR 12) and
  • show an attitude of academic honesty and integrity with respect to research conduct (FSR 13).

Required Knowledge

Univ: To be admitted you must have (or equivalent) 90 ECTS-credits including 60 ECTS-credits in Computing Science or two years of completed studies within a study programme (120 ECTS-credits). In both cases, including at least one course in Computing/Compuer Science at advanced level is required.

Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper Secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The course comprises lectures on scientific writing, presentation techniques, how to find literature, and research quality. Additional instructions are given as feedback during peer review meetings, and as individual supervision. A significant portion of the course consists of individual work.

Examination modes

The examination of the course consists of six written deliverables and four meetings.

The six mandatory deliverables are (FSR 1-5, 7, 9-10,12-13):
  1. topic selection
  2. draft for peer review 1
  3. draft for peer review 2
  4. draft for peer review 3
  5. final paper
  6. revised version
and they will be examined by assessing quality, handling of suggested changes, and overall progression. Students submit their drafts 3 working days before the peer review meetings and provide written feedback to the other drafts. In addition, the students will get written feedback from the teachers.

During three mandatory peer review meetings (FSR 6-8, 11-13), the following aspects will be examined: how well the student is prepared (e.g. has read the other students’ drafts and summarized suggested changes in writing) and how well the student participates in the discussion.

During the mandatory conference (FSR 7, 11), the following aspects will be examined: clarity of presentation, presentation style (e.g. facing the audience, speaking clearly), and ability to answer questions from the audience professionally and satisfactorily.

Based on a combined assessment of the above criteria, the student gets one of the grades on the course: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4), or Pass with Distinction (5).

The grades on the course is set acoording to the following:
  • In order to pass the course, the student must
    1. have handed in all mandatory deliverables,
    2. participated in all mandatory peer-review meetings
    3. produced an article draft for the last peer review meeting that is largely complete (i.e. contains relevant introduction, experiments, results, conclusions, proof, etc.),
    4. been accepted to the conference
    5. and attended the conference
Necessary conditions for the higher grades 4 or 5 are:
  • high scientific quality of the research question and relevant methodology for answering it,
  • well-organized and written final version of the paper,
  • active participation during all peer-review meetings,
  • all deliverables were delivered strictly before deadline,
  • there was a substantial progression between the handed in versions of the article. 
If Conditions 4 (and thus 5) are not fullfilled, the student receives a Fail (U) but  may revise the article and present orally at a later occasion. The grade will in this case be at most Pass (3).
If Conditions 1-3 are not fullfilled, the student receives a Fail (U), and the next opportunity to pass the course is the next time the course is given.
Non-participation at the mandatory meetings is only excused in serious cases such as illness, and only after clearance by the responsible teacher.

A student who has passed an examination may not be re-examined.

A student who has taken two tests for a course or segment of a course, without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there exist special reasons (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 6, section 22). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the Department of Computing Science.

Examination based on this syllabus is guaranteed for two years after the first registration on the course. This applies even if the course is closed down and this syllabus ceased to be valid.

Students have the right to be tried on prior education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession can be credited for the same education at Umeå University. Application for credit is submitted to the Student Services / Degree. For more information on credit transfer available at Umeå University's student web,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of crediting can be appealed (Higher Education chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole as part of the application for credit transfer is rejected.

Other regulations

In an exam this course may not be included, in whole or in part, simultaneously with another course of similar content. Specifically, this course can not be included in a degree together with 5DV144 Student conference in Computing Science. If in doubt, consult the student counselors at the Department of Computer Science.

Course connections to programs and degrees
The course is a mandatory course for the Master's Programme in Computing Science. The course can, depending on the choice of theme, be part of the fulfilment
  • of 45 credits (at least 37.5 of these on advanced level) within Computer Science when pursuing the specialization in Computer Science within a degree of Master of Science (Two Years) with Computing Science as Main Field of Study.
  • of 60 credits on advanced level within Robotics and Control when pursuing the specialization in Robotics and Control within a degree of Master of Science (Two Years) with Computing Science as Main Field of Study.
It can also be included, depending on the choice of theme, as a course in the area of Computational Science and Engineering and be used to pursue a degree of Master of Science (Two Years) with Computational Science and Engineering as Main Field of Study.

If in doubt contact the program coordinator.