DRAFT Syllabus for CS 7934 — Computer Systems Seminar, Fall 2024

Course Information

Course Number and Title
CS 7934–1 — Computer Systems Seminar
Also known as “the CSL seminar”
Fridays, 2:00–3:30 PM
In person
3485 MEB
Eric Eide
Instructor Contact
Email: eeide@cs.utah.edu
Web: https://users.cs.utah.edu/~eeide/
Office: 3476 MEB
Office Hours: by appointment; send email to schedule an appointment
Web Pages
Primary: https://www.eng.utah.edu/~csl-sem/
The primary course website will contain pointers to the syllabus, schedule, and other information.
Canvas: https://utah.instructure.com/courses/984268
Enrolled students will submit paper summaries via the course's Canvas website.
Mailing List
All seminar participants should subscribe to the mailing list. The instructor will use this list to distribute important announcements and other information.

Course Summary

Description: The Computer Systems Seminar is a weekly meeting in which participants discuss recent and important results in the area of computer systems research. For a typical meeting, attendees will read and discuss one paper chosen from a recent systems, networking, or security conference. Papers are selected for discussion according to the semester's focus topic, the papers' relevance to participants' own research, and/or the papers' relevance to upcoming Utah visitors. Some meetings may be centered on presentations of a participant's own research: e.g., a practice talk for an upcoming conference. Each meeting has one or more designated “facilitators” who are responsible for leading the discussion.

Objectives: To increase participants' familiarity with recent and important research results in computer systems; to improve participants' skills in presenting computer systems research.

Prerequisites: An undergraduate computer science background is required for this course. General knowledge of computer systems design, both software and hardware, is necessary.

Grading Policy

Credit: A student may enroll in the seminar for one (1) credit hour.

Grading: Grading is based on participation. “Participation” is not merely presence; it means engaging with the course in ways that demonstrate sincere effort to master the course material. The primary course activities are:

On every week that the seminar is held, every student taking the course for credit must read all of the papers for that week, submit a short summary of each paper prior to class, and participate in the discussion. In addition, every enrolled student must facilitate at least one seminar meeting during the semester.

Paper summaries should be submitted to the instructor, prior to class, via the seminar's Canvas website. Late paper summaries are not generally accepted. Late paper summaries may be accepted in exceptional circumstances only, at the sole discretion of the instructor.

Cheating Policy

Cheating: In this course, “cheating” refers to plagiarism in the written summaries that students submit to the instructor. Plagiarism is the practice of taking work from a source—e.g., text written by another person or text created by an AI-enabled generator—and presenting it as your own work, without clearly identifying the source. Plagiarism includes verbatim copying from a source, and it also includes improper paraphrasing: copying text from a source, changing a small fraction of the words and/or structure, and presenting the result as your own.

Cheating in this course is not tolerated. The penalty for cheating in this course is a failing grade for the course.

A summary must consist of a student's sole, original work. Unattributed copying of material from the papers being discussed or other sources is plagiarism as will be treated as such. Improper paraphrasing of papers or other sources is also plagiarism and will be treated as such.
Do not present text produced by generative AI tools as your original work. Text produced by generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Jasper, and Copy.ai, must not be incorporated into work that is submitted to the instructor. This is because text created by a generative AI tool is, by its nature, not a student's sole, original work. In this course, presenting tool-generated text as your original work is plagiarism. Tool-generated text may be incorporated into submitted work only when both (1) the generated text is clearly identified within the submitted work as a whole, e.g., as a direct quote; and (2) the source of the generated text is clearly identified, e.g., with a citation.

Students are encouraged to discuss the seminar's readings with each other—discussing the papers is a primary activity of this course! However, any written summary that a student submits to the instructor must be the original work of that student alone. Jointly authored summaries are not allowed.

The following websites are good resources for understanding plagiarism and the difference between proper (acceptable) paraphrasing and improper (unacceptable) paraphrasing.

All questions about the definitions of cheating and plagiarism in this course should be directed to the instructor. The web has many resources that can help you to understand and avoid plagiarism, but if you have questions, please contact the instructor.

Statement: In accordance with the Kahlert School of Computing's Policy Statement on Academic Misconduct dated August 1, 2022, the instructor will discuss the School's academic misconduct policy in the first two weeks of the course. A link to the policy statement is found below.

John and Marcia Price College of Engineering Policies and Guidelines

For information about adding courses, withdrawing from courses, appealing grades, and more, please refer to the website maintained by the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering's Office of Academic Affairs.

University of Utah Policies

The Americans with Disabilities Act. The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in this class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 801–581–5020. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in an alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.

University Safety Statement. The University of Utah values the safety of all campus community members. To report suspicious activity or to request a courtesy escort, call campus police at 801–585–COPS (801–585–2677). You will receive important emergency alerts and safety messages regarding campus safety via text message. For more information regarding safety and to view available training resources, including helpful videos, visit safeu.utah.edu.

Addressing Sexual Misconduct. Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status as a person with a disability, veteran's status or genetic information. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801–581–8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801–581–7066. For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801–581–7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801–585–2677 (COPS).

Academic Misconduct Statement. It is expected that students adhere to University of Utah policies regarding academic honesty, including but not limited to refraining from cheating, plagiarizing, misrepresenting one's work, and/or inappropriately collaborating. This includes the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools without citation, documentation, or authorization. Students are expected to adhere to the prescribed professional and ethical standards of the profession/discipline for which they are preparing. Any student who engages in academic dishonesty or who violates the professional and ethical standards for their profession/discipline may be subject to academic sanctions as per the University of Utah's Student Code: https://regulations.utah.edu/academics/6-410.php

Undocumented Student Support Statement. Immigration is a complex phenomenon with broad impact—those who are directly affected by it, as well as those who are indirectly affected by their relationships with family members, friends, and loved ones. If your immigration status presents obstacles to engaging in specific activities or fulfilling specific course criteria, confidential arrangements may be requested from the Dream Center. Arrangements with the Dream Center will not jeopardize your student status, your financial aid, or any other part of your residence. The Dream Center offers a wide range of resources to support undocumented students (with and without DACA) as well as students from mixed-status families. To learn more, please contact the Dream Center at 801–213–3697 or visit dream.utah.edu.

Student Mental Health Resources. If you need help dealing with burnout, anxiety, depression, isolation, loneliness, or other mental health issues, please reach out. A variety of campus mental health resources, including free counseling, trainings, and other support, are readily available to you. Consider participating in a Mental Health First Aid or other wellness-themed training provided by our Center for Student Wellness and sharing these opportunities with your peers, teaching assistants, and department colleagues.

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