W r i t i n g P r o j e c t T o p i c s
You have to write one research paper of about three pages length on a subject related to
computing. Each student is
assigned a topic from the list below. You have to tell me which topic
you have chosen, give me a first draft two weeks after you
have chosen the topic, and the
paper two more weeks later, so overall you have four weeks for the whole
For most of the topics you need sources. Please cite and quote correctly and completely, also internet sources.
A good but brief introduction for writing research papers (based on the MLA
Handbook for Writers of Research Papers) can be found here.
List of topics available:
- Critics of Microsoft claim it uses a so-called "Embrace, extend and
extinguish" strategy. Describe what this means, and investigate whether
this strategy can be seen in internet technology (HTML, CSS) or Java.
- Eric Steven Raymond's discusses on his famous 35 pages paper "The
Cathedral and the Bazaar" what he considers to be a new paradigm in
software engineering. Explain his main thesis about the superiority of the
"bazaar" model over the "cathedral" model, and critically
- Parallel Computing. Describe the concept and the difficulties.
What are the advantages.
Find out where existing parallel computers are used.
Do you think parallel computing is worthwhile and should be pursued further?
- Java. What is it, who invented it, why is it important?
- Artificial Intelligence.
- Compare ASP and PHP (server-based technologies for creating dynamic
- Problems in Chip Design.
- Webpage test. What is webpage usability. Compare three e-commerce websites.
B level (easier, but maximum of B can be achieved here)
- Compare different technologies available to create small home computer
- An overview over the antitrust lawsuit "USA versus Microsoft.
- The concept of open source software.
- The Browser War (Internet Explorer versus Netscape Navigator).
- What are the most recent trends in web page design beyond HTML?
- Charles Babbage and his contributions to computing..
- The future computer. What do you think a computer might
look like in 10 years? Base your opinion on information
you find on the internet.
- The new economy. Will it recover? What are the reasons for
failures of some of these new economies?
- Software test. Compare two similar programs like spreadsheet programs,
databases, graphics programs, or ....
It is important that you have access and some experience with both.
- Which of the components, storage, CPU, memory, software, ...
has advanced computers the most in the past? What is your opinion on
which of them will
influence computers most in the future?
- The three most important inventions in computing
(according to you).
- Progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Roboting
- Unicode and cultures (What is Unicode, and in what way can and does it help
to protect small cultures?)
- Opinion Topic: My uncle avoids all newer versions of software and still
sticks to Windows 95 and old office versions, claiming that newer versions
bring too few advantages, compared with the money for upgrading. Compare
features of older and most recent versions. Are there ways software companies
try to convince us that the products that were "perfect" just a few
years ago have to be replaced?
The grading will be based on
- Organization (Are the ideas presented in a logical and structured way? Is there an appropriate introduction and conclusion?)
- Mechanics (This addresses spelling, grammar, word choice, citing
correctly, and so on)
- Originality (Does the student show original and independent thoughts on
the topic? Is he or she maybe discussing generalizations? You can get 5
extra credit points here.)