JIM Seminar

JIM (Masters) Seminar: Summer 2016

Belegnummer: 36.4800 Modulbeschreibung

Seminar Topic

In this seminar we consider how to write a literature review paper.

Each participant will select one topic, review the literature concerning that topic, present the results of this review in class, and then write a literature review paper.

There are two ways to select a topic:

  1. Student selects a topic possibly related to their Master's Thesis.  This gives you a chance to explore topics you are considering for a Master's Thesis.  (Topics should in any case come from Computer Science)
  2. Professor selects a topic related to the AlphaGo program which was in the news in the Spring of 2016, see here and here and here and here.

In the first meeting (date to be announced), we will review the rules and make tentative decisions concerning topics.

In the second meeting (date to be announced), each student will present a very brief proposal of their topic and we will discuss in the group whether the topic is feasible in a semester and meets Master level research.

After getting approval for the (possibly modified) topic, each student performs thorough research on his/her topic which will be presented and discussed in a 30-45-minutes presentation during the course of the semester. At the end of the semester, a written paper is due (both in hardcopy as well as electronically as a pdf file).

The grade for the seminar will be based on the presentation (one third) and the written paper (two thirds).

Seminar Goal

The goal of the seminar is not simply to collect a literature list.

The main goal of the seminar is to gain practice presenting science, both in person and on paper. 

A very good seminar paper and presentation will:

  • visit a wide range of literature;
  • distinguish between major ("seminal") and minor contributions;
  • determine what is at stake - what motivates continued interest in this topic;
  • find structure, where possible, in the various contributions made to date; For example, you might be able to:

    • identify different schools of thought,
    • identify historical trends,
    • determine where there is consensus ...
    • ...and which questions remain open (and interesting) today;

  • arrive at critical and original conclusions concerning the state of the art at this time.


The seminar is in English.  All presentations and all papers are to be in English. Your English does not need to be perfect, but it should be clear and comprehensible. Further, the seminar paper should adhere to accepted standards and conventions for scientific work (it should not, in other words, be conversational or informal).

Participation in class is also important.  Each presenter is expected to answer questions about her or his topic; the remaining participants are expected to ask interesting questions!