CS891 - Introduction to Emerging Technologies

Meeting time Friday 3:00-5:30, E&CS 2120

Fall 2019

Old Dominion University Department of Computer Science

Lecturer: Dr. Justin F. Brunelle (jbrunelle@cs.odu.edu)

Office Hours: Friday afternoons (please schedule an appointment)

Course Information

The Emerging Technologies course will expose students to the topics and current state-of- the-art in a small set of broad emerging technologies topics. The course will focus on high-demand applications of CS knowledge and theory. Specifically, this will be an exposure to the myths and realities of several (often misunderstood) emerging technologies (e.g., IoT, cloud computing) and a critical deep dive into a research topic within the domain. Students will be expected to read and understand a whitepaper describing the current gaps in topic applications along with understanding and presenting on a peer-reviewed publication within the domain. Students will present an introduction to the technology as well as an analysis of the quality of the peer-reviewed paper's methodology, findings, and conclusions and make their own judgements or recommendations on the focus or next steps of the research.

Course Objectives:

This course will expose students interested in a career in research to a variety of modern emerging technologies. The technologies covered in the course are of current high interest among researchers.

The course will focus on concepts and the current state-of-the-art of technologies to include the following:

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Edge Computing; Mobile and Internet of Things
  3. Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
  4. Blockchain
  5. Big Data and Data Management
  6. Agile/DevOps
  7. Cyber Security


Academic Integrity / Honor Code

By attending Old Dominion University you have accepted the responsibility to abide by the ODU Honor Code. If you are uncertain about how the honor code applies to any course activity, you should request clarification from the instructor. The honor pledge is as follows:

"I pledge to support the Honor System of Old Dominion University. I will refrain from any form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or plagiarism. I am aware that as a member of the academic community, it is my responsibility to turn in all suspected violators of the Honor Code. I will report to a hearing if summoned."

In particular, submitting anything that is not your own work without proper attribution (giving credit to the original author) is plagiarism and is considered to be an honor code violation. It is not acceptable to copy source code or written work from any other source (including other students), unless explicitly allowed in the assignment statement. In cases where using resources such as the Internet is allowed, proper attribution must be given.

Any evidence of an honor code violation (cheating) will result in a 0 grade for the assignment/exam, and the incident will be submitted to the Department of Computer Science for further review. Note that honor code violations can result in a permanent notation being placed on the student's transcript. Evidence of cheating may include a student being unable to satisfactorily answer questions asked by the instructor about a submitted solution. Cheating includes not only receiving unauthorized assistance, but also giving unauthorized assistance. For class files kept in Unix space, students are expected to use Unix file permission protections (chmod) to keep other students from accessing the files. Failure to adequately protect files may result in a student being held responsible for giving unauthorized assistance, even if not directly aware of it.

Students may still provide legitimate assistance to one another through the course mailing list. You are encouraged to form study groups to discuss course topics. Students should avoid discussions of solutions to ongoing assignments and should not, under any circumstances, show or share code solutions for an ongoing assignment.

All students are responsible for knowing the rules. If you are unclear about whether a certain activity is allowed or not, please contact the instructor.

Course Policies & Expectations

Students are expected to complete the following for each assignment:

As a presenter:

  1. Research and become proficient in the topic area
  2. Read, understand, and present on the research area
  3. Prepare and deliver a presentation to your classmates
    • 1-2 slides -- Introductory bio
    • 2-4 slides -- Introduce the topic area (includes common myths and associated truths)
    • 1-2 slides -- Introduce the paper (including motivation)
    • 1-2 slides -- Background and related works
    • 4-5 slides -- Research methodology (include experimental design, metrics, data sets, etc.)
    • 1-2 slides -- Findings & conclusions (include relevant graphs)
    • 1-2 slides -- Issues and recommendations with the paper
    • 1-2 slides -- Recommendations for research in the topic area
    • Presentations should range from 15-20 slides and last for 30-45 minutes with 15-30 minutes for Q&A and discussion
  4. Be prepared to field questions as if you were at a conference presenting to peers
  5. Exercise professionalism and clarity in your work

As an audience member:
  1. Perform preliminary research on the topic area
  2. Come to class having read the paper at least once
  3. Find two sources of misconceptions in the topical area (e.g., blogs, tweets, articles)
  4. Prepare 2-3 questions for each presenter & topic area
  5. Be prepared to provide constructive recommendations for the presenter
  6. Exercise professionalism and clarity in your work


This is a "papers course" and will be pass/fail. However, students are expected to attend each class (with exceptions noted in the attendance section) and should prepare adequately for each class meeting.

Students are graded as both an audience member and as a presenter throughout the semester.

As a presenter:

  1. Preparedness
  2. Thorough coverage of topic and paper
  3. Clarity in presentation
  4. Professionalism and thoughtfulness during discussions

As an audience member:
  1. Preparedness
  2. Thoughtfulness of questions
  3. Clarity and professionalism of feedback


I expect you to attend class and to arrive on time. Your grade may be affected if you are consistently tardy. If you have to miss a class, you are responsible checking the course website to find any assignments or notes you may have missed. Students may leave after 15 minutes if the instructor or a guest lecturer does not arrive in that time. Students will also be required to attend all presentations from their peers to receive full credit.


Students should signup for the class email list. You do not have to use an ODU email address -- sign up with any email address that you would check daily. I will use both the list and slack channel to send out important updates (assignment deadline changes, class cancellations, office hours cancellations, etc.). I will also use your CS email address to provide per-student grades and other sensitive topics.

Classroom Conduct

Please be respectful of your classmates and instructor by minimizing distractions during class. Cell phones must be turned off during class.

Make-up Work

Make-ups for graded activities are possible only with a valid written medical or university excuse. It is the student's responsibility to give the instructor the written excuse and to arrange for any makeup work to be done.

Disability Services

In compliance with PL94-142 and more recent federal legislation affirming the rights of disabled individuals, provisions will be made for students with special needs on an individual basis. The student must have been identified as special needs by the university and an appropriate letter must be provided to the course instructor. Provision will be made based upon written guidelines from the University's Office of Educational Accessibility. All students are expected to fulfill all course requirements.

Seeking Help

The course website should be your first reference for questions about the class. The schedule will be updated throughout the semester with links to assigned readings. Announcements and frequently asked questions (FAQ) will also be posted to the course website. The best way to get help is to come to office hours. If you cannot make the regularly scheduled office hours, please send an email to setup an appointment.

I am available via email and typically reply within 48 hours, but do not expect or rely on an immediate response.