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Tutorial: Research Methods in Computer Science

Serge Demeyer

The last decade I supervised a significant amount of PhD students, served in numerous PhD committees and reviewed a countless number of papers. During these occasions I always did my very best to give constructive remarks, and lots of young (someteimes even not so young) researchers have acknowledged that it did indeed help them becoming a better researcher. However, over the years I got this nagging feeling that I was often repeating myself; sometimes wondering whether I was sounding like an old grumpy grandfather instead of an active enthusiastic researcher. Worse, I was often giving tidbits of advice but noticed that the overall picture ---the reference framework so to speak--- was lacking. My advice was sometimes misunderstood, neglected or otherwise ignored and I often wondered if I could nail down this reference framework.

During my sabbatacil leave at the University of Zürich (August 2009 - January 2010) in the research group SEAL I was finally presented with the opportunity to develop this reference framework. I did an awfull lot of reading, had several brainstorms and in the end created a tutorial entitled "Research methods in Computer Science". This web-page collects all material and related resources regarding that tutorial.

This page is last updated on Tuesday, October 11th, 2011.

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Tutorial Notes | Goals and Objectives | Chronological Overview | Responses to Questionnaires


Tutorial Notes

Below you can find the most recent copy of the slides used during the tutorial. This is the version as presented during the ICSM 2011 Conference.

Goals and Objectives

This tutorial explores the role of research methods in computer science, drawing upon practical examples from empirical approaches in software engineering.

Objectives: After this tutorial, a participant will be able to ...

Target audience: This tutorial is aimed at PhD students and post-docs who want to improve their research skills. In particular those who are concerned with

Chronological Overview

The tutorial "Research Methods in Computer Science" is a concrete result of the sabbatical leave at the University of Züurich in the research group SEAL. Below is a short chronological overview of how the tutorial evolved into its current incarnation.

Responses to Questionnaires

After each incarnation of the tutorial I hold a little questionnaire among the participants. Below is an analysis of the responses.


Serge Demeyer | Teaching | Research | Publications | Non-Academic | E-mail Feedback