This course requires you to do some research about ongoing developments in the field of computer science. That should be easy, right? We have had computers for a long time, haven't we? If we have pretty much nailed down everything that a computer can do, what is left for development?
Let's put some things in historical perspective for a minute:
You can probably find more mistaken perceptions like these on the Internet, especially about technology. There is a legend that Bill Gates once said that no one would ever need more than 640 Kilobytes of RAM. He has denied ever saying it, but it makes a good story. For most of us working in the field, it is easy to believe Bill. Why would any of us think that any amount of RAM would be enough for all time? Technology changes, and the interactions between technologies change as well, but one thing seems to be a constant. No matter what we have, we want more, and we want it faster, bigger, and better.
So, if we never have enough, and always want something better, does it
make sense that someone is always interested in finding a way to make
the next version of any technology better? Someone, somewhere is interested
in developing the next great thing, not just for the joy of creating it,
but for the profit in selling it to the rest of us. That also means that
there will be a selection of journals, blogs, web sites, and instances
of other communication methods dedicated to reporting, popularizing, selling,
and just publishing information about technical developments.Consider
on Wikipedia that lists 169 (when I captured the link) different computer
science journals. That might give you the idea that there are a lot of
current developments under way. With that many choices, how can you tell
which ones to consult for the research you need to do for the first project?
Well, if a list of 169 journals isn't too many, try this
search engine, SCImago Journal &
Country Rank, which came back with 1445 hits for Computer Science
Journals when I asked it for items in that category. You probably only
want the ones in English, and you may want to specify a subject category
to trim that number a bit. Go ahead, try it out. I can wait.
I was mildly disappointed that the SCImago site did not provide links to the various journals it ranks. It does, however, give us a rather long list of possible sources that should have acceptable academic standing. That's important when you are doing research. You don't want to just pull something from the Internet that has not been examined by an editor or two, a review committee, or a number of peers working in a relevant field. Not when you are doing academic research, and not when there is money on the line, which it always will be when you are doing research for your job.
There is another resource you should try using when you are looking for books, articles, videos, or images. Baker has a library on your campus. It's in that big building just to the east of the main building on the Flint campus. This may be news to some of you, but I hope most of you have used the library, either in person or online, sometime in the past. Whether you have or not, let's try it out. Baker's librarians are available to help you find the right resources to do research for classes like this one. You come to the campus for classes, so spend a little time on one of those trips learning what the library can do for you.
So, this week we are focusing on actual academic research. You
need to figure out an answer to the first question for the mid-term
project. What technology will you research? Remember this set of
requirements I showed you last week?
First, pick a technology, then do some research on it. If you
can't find anything to fit the recipe above, pick another technology
that interests you. This week you need to have your proposed technology
approved, and start collecting material to answer the four numbered