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Research Methods in Computer Science: Overview and Open Research Question

Skills and attributes

Have a conceptual understanding of how established techniques of research are used to create and extend existing knowledge in computer science.

Be able to identify a research problem from synthesizing problem definitions from relevant literature.

Demonstrate originality in proposing alternative solutions within a chosen area. Skills and attributes

Critically evaluate research literature and identify research problems to solve

Demonstrate ability to propose alternative approaches for future work in a chosen area.

Communicate research knowledge effectively in scholarly manner.

To provide exposure to research areas in Computer Science drawn from the Department’s research profile in order to provide preparatory ground for students to pursue a deeper investigation of a research topic as part of their Master’s project.


As part of this assignment you are required to produce an overview of your chosen research specialism and discuss a specific open research question within this specialism.

You must also use your knowledge and understanding of the topic as supplemented by:

  • the module reading materials;
  • secondary research

Your report must include sections as described below. The word lengths are provided as guidance only, and no marks will be deducted specifically on the grounds of word length of each section.

  1. Introduction of research specialism

Provide a brief description of your chosen research specialism. This should be accessible to someone with a broad knowledge of computer science, but without any specific knowledge of this specialism.

  1. Open research question

Identify the research question discussed in the relevant subject specialist paper for this specialism. Describe this research question or problem in detail. Ensure that you describe why this question this is scientifically interesting and / or applicable to a real-world problem.

  1. Existing and related work

Provide a brief literature review of existing other work– i.e. not this paper – that has been done on this problem and on similar problems. Why does this existing other work not fully answer or solve these problems? What are some related open problems? You must make reference to existing work beyond that presented in the paper discussed by the subject specialist.

  1. Research approach

Describe the research methods which have been used in this paper to investigate this question. Evaluate the effectiveness of this research, considering both its advantages and disadvantages. Describe an approach you might take to build on this research to answer related open questions. Remember to draw on the principles of experimental design and theoretical / practical research as introduced in the lectures.

  1. Personal investment

Identify why you are interested in this specific research question, and why your personal strengths and experiences would fit you to carry out the research you have described.

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