George Mason University

CS491 Great Principles Fall 2002

Research Paper (30 points) due 12/2/01
Proposal due 10/28/01
Presentations (10 points) 12/2/02

A research paper and presentation are part of this course. The research paper is oriented at helping you develop your capacity to interpret the history of our technology in terms of the evolution of great principles. You will locate key historical documents about a principle you choose and build a story about that principle's inception. You will document what changes have come after the principle's inception, why those changes are permanent, and why the principle deserves to be called great. You will show how the principle has become permanently important. You want to communicate all this to a technology-literate reader in a way that draws the reader into your story and leaves the reader wanting to know more.

You can do this project either alone or on a two-person team (both members of the class). Make this determination by 10/30/01 and tell me about it in your proposal.

The first step is to prepare a proposal, due 10/28/01. In the proposal, say what is the principle and issue you want to address, why you think it is important, why you have chosen it, and what your initial approach to the research will be. Limit this to 2 pages. Do some preliminary reading so that you can give me enough meat that I can give you some useful feeback.

The full paper will be due on 12/2/02, the last day of classes. In that hour, I will give each paper team a time slot of about 10 minutes to present its findings and results. This will give you practice in making a presentation and you will be graded on the quality and appeal of your presenation.