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Welcome to

IFSC 7102 Research Tools, Fall 2012

Wednesdays, 2:00-2:50 p.m. in EIT 217

Course web site is available at:


Daniel Berleant

Dept. of Information Science

EIT 562


Syllabus and Course Information


Prerequisite: Graduate standing. One-credit course introducing students to the tools and resources for supporting research in the Integrated Computing Engineering Science and Systems doctoral programs.



By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Use a variety of tools and techniques that can be relevant to research.
  2. Use resources on campus and on the Web that can assist in research activities.
  3. Compare tools and resources to decide which choices are most suitable for the desired purpose.



We will be using online resources, campus resources and selected articles for this course. is useful. Ranjit Kumar, is a good overview of the research process in general but is lacking in guidance for those doing STEM research.



The following schedule is will be reordered as we go along. Students could demo tools in class; compare 2 or more tools;


W 2:00-2:50 8/29/12               Get to know your fellow graduate students

W 2:00-2:50 9/5/12                 Wikis

W 2:00-2:50 9/12/12               Finding papers, books and information (fol3; how to find the right materials)

W 2:00-2:50 9/19/12               Research networking tools (ser. #1)

W 2:00-2:50 9/26/12               Library orientation (was actually Refworks) by Brent Nelson at the library

W 2:00-2:50 10/3/12               Plagiarism including detection Tools (fol3; ser. #4, lecturePlagiarism.htm)

W 2:00-2:50 10/10/12             How to read papers (example: Gopen/Swan paper) (ser. #5)

W 2:00-2:50 10/17/12             How to write theses, proposals, papers, lit. reviews

W 2:00-2:50 10/24/12             How to write passages (e.g. Gopen and Swan paper, slides) (ser. #3)

W 2:00-2:50 10/31/12             Tour of the UALR Writing Center

W 2:00-2:50 11/7/12               Tour of the UALR supercomputing facility (with Albert Everett)

W 2:00-2:50 11/14/12             Tour of the GIT fabrication facility (with Ben Gilbert)

W 2:00-2:50 11/21/12             How to write a proposal

W 2:00-2:50 11/28/12             How to write a proposal (cont.)

W 2:00-2:50 12/5/12               Prezi (

Other topics to consider:                    H-index, impact factor, etc.

IRB, need and process

(preprep) Grant/Funding Resources/databases (ORSP could discuss/demo; Grad School)

(preprep) Time management and scheduling meetings (e.g. Pausch time management lecture)

Job/Placement Resources (e.g. where are the job ads?, etc.,

see example email)

                                                                (preprep) Writing Tools and Resources: Thesis Guidelines, Online Writing Lab

                                                                                Resources, Grammar/Spelling, tools, Handbook of Written English.

                                                                                (fol4; Honavar site; UALR Writing Center; UALR Communication Skills Center)

                                                                (preprep) Computing resources available, clusters, VRC, etc.

                                                                (preprep) Visualization Tools (e.g., ManyEyes) (Dr. Agarwal)

                                                                (preprep) Communication skills (Ms. Lowery)

Web search engines, including Wolfram Alpha

(preprep) Backup tools, security tools, and their need

(preprep) Excel/spreadsheets (inc. Charting Tools and Resources: Best practices,

                                                                                Excel.macros (fol1)); data Collection Tools:

                                                                                Databases, Data Coding, Data Dictionaries. (fol2)

                                                                (preprep) Prezi; collaborative writing with MS Word tracking;

                                                                                google docs; Open office, open libre or is that office libre

Statistical/Mathematical Tools (e.g., R, Matlab)

Survey Tools and Sampling (Dataflux, R)

Data/Text Mining Tools (e.g., Weka) (Dr. Wu)Lecturing tools: whiteboard (dry markers), Wimba, powerpoint editor/presentation, prezi, sliderocket

google docs, html, notecards,…online stuff, future

Secondary Data Resources

Data Profiling Tools

Sketchup; other google tools

VRC demo/tour

Latex (Dr. Tang)




Each item below will be scored on a scale from 50% (the minimum) to 100% (the maximum):





Introduction: Civility is the art of treating others, as well as ourselves, with respect, dignity, and care. Civility is apparent when we are sensitive to the impact that our communications, practices and behaviors have on others, and when we acknowledge each person's self-worth and unique contributions to the community as a whole. Individuals who repeatedly disrupt the civility of the classroom learning experience will be subject to the classroom disruption policy described at



Introduction : Academic dishonesty cannot be condoned or tolerated in the university community. Such behavior is considered a student conduct violation, and students found guilty of committing an academic offense on the campus, or in connection with an institution-oriented or sponsored activity, or while representing the university or academic department, will be disciplined by the university. To find out more about academic dishonesty, check out the website:


Students with Disabilities:

Your success in this class is important to me, and it is the policy and practice of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to create inclusive learning environments consistent with federal and state law. If you have a documented disability (or need to have a disability documented), and need an accommodation, please contact me privately as soon as possible, so that we can discuss with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) how to meet your specific needs and the requirements of the course. The DRC offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process among you, your instructor(s) and the DRC. Thus, if you have a disability, please contact me and/or the DRC, at 501-569-3143 (V/TTY) or 501-683-7629 (VP). For more information, please visit the DRC website at


*Xor refers to “exclusive or,” which means “one or the other, but not both”




 Some resources



I used mainly internet resources (one source was   The one book that I have used as a reference is by Ranjit Kumar ( ).  It is a good overview of the research process in general but I found that it is lacking in guidance for those doing STEM research.  […] guest speakers to help with the various topics.” Dr. Pierce