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Prospective cs498la students - please see Project Proposals for a list of potential projects. Note - these are currently being updated by faculty - expect more projects in the next week or so.

For non-course activities of the Undergraduate Research Lab please see here.
See UIUC's guidelines and policies on Academic Integrity.

Course Description

Weekly Meeting
The class will meet weekly Monday 11am SC2124, starting the second week of classes.

Lawrence Angrave
email: same as my last name

Ashish Vulimiri
email: vulimir1

Credit: 3 hours
In this apprenticeship-style, hands-on laboratory, students learn to i) Pose testable research questions; ii) Write competitive grant proposals; iii) Create novel solutions using software and/or hardware; iv) Draw valid scientific conclusions; and v) Present and publish results, conclusions and other materials. This team-based undergraduate-only course requires the consent of the instructor.

How to enroll


Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to

  • Pose a precise and concise research question.
  • Write a technical grant proposal and technical status report.
  • Work as a team to develop and satisfy a research agenda.
  • Understand Academic Integrity requirements for Researchers and be able to discuss the reasoning behind UIUC policies and guidelines on Academic Integrity.
  • Evaluate their own work and the work of others as part of a research context.
  • Present their research work in verbal and written forms.

Students will also learn about current research activities and the faculty at the Department of Computer Science. The best projects will be published in the Computer Science Undergraduate Research Journal.

Assignments and Grading Policy


This class will require a lot of time. You will be expected to work approximately 10 hours a week on work for this class. This time includes meeting with your graduate mentor once a week, meeting with the course TA once a week, and attending class (if class is held that week).


Please submit your work using subversion. The class repository is https://subversion.ews.illinois.edu/svn/sp12-cs498la

  1. Project Proposal
  2. Project Proposal
    • Send a short written description of your project to the class TA.
  3. Public Written Summary of work on URL site
    • Once you have chosen a project to work on, you will be asked to write a summary of the research problem and any other relevant information to be placed on the Undergraduate Research Lab main page. If you prefer to not have your name appear on the site, then the summary will appear without your name.
  4. Write article review and presentation
    • You will be asked to write a summary of ~4 articles that are relevant to your research project and present your summary to the class. This review should closely resemble a "Related Work" section that is seen in published research papers. A due date for this review will be chosen later in the term. This assignment will satisfy one week of your lab notes requirement.
  5. Lab notes & Weekly meeting
    • Each week you will be expected to make progress on your research project. You will be asked to document this progress in a lab notebook and by uploading documents to your Subversion space (information about the Subversion space is forthcoming). You will also be asked to meet with the TA (and possibly other class personnel) each week to talk about your progress.
  6. Journal Article
    • You will be expected to write a research paper with the results of your research at the end of the term. Drafts will be due no later than 11:59pm Friday April 6, 2012. Final papers will be due 11:59pm Mon April 23, 2012. There is a significant penalty for late submissions.
  7. Presentation - Oral Examination
    • An oral presentation of your research will be given at the end of the term. Presentations should last between 10-15 minutes with questions following this time. Presentations can be presented in three different ways: PowerPoint slides, a poster, or a demonstration video in which you demonstrate the work that you have done. Presentations will be given during exam week; an exact date is forthcoming.
  8. Summary of Invited Lecture (Optional)
    • For extra credit, you can attend any of the invited lectures that are hosted by the Computer Science department. To get the extra credit, you will be asked to write a page long writeup that consists of 1) a summary of the work presented during the talk, 2) your opinions of the work, and 3) any implications that you can see for the presented work in the near or distant future on your research area.

Grading Policy

Grades will be computed as follows:

Assignment Percentage
12 Weekly Meetings and Lab Notes (5% for each week) 60%
Presentation - Oral Examination 20%
Journal Article 20%
Total 100%
Extra-credit - attend an invited lecture and write a summary of the talk 2% (each)

To get an A: Both the journal article and the oral examination have to be completed satisfactorily, and substantial progress must be noted during at least 11 weekly meetings.

To get a B: Both the journal article and the oral examination have to be completed satisfactorily, and substantial progress must be noted during at least 9 weekly meetings.

To get a C: Both the journal article and the oral examination have to be completed but are of mediocre quality, and substantial progress must be noted during at least 7 weekly meetings.

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