COEN 180
Paper Reports
List of Suggested Articles


The paper reports introduce the student to the reading of research literature, allows them to explore in depth a topic of their choice, and trains professional communication skills in reading and writing (ABET criterion 3(g)).

Finding a Paper

You should select a paper based on the following criteria: (1) interest to you, (2) a topic relating to storage or memory, (3) publication in a peer-reviewed journal or conference (exception: some technical reports are extended versions of a conference paper, these are fine.) (4) "Doability", i.e. can you understand and synthesize the paper in reasonable time. For example, if you want to select a paper on holographic storage, but you do not understand the underlying physics, then you would probably be best off choosing a different paper.

Papers can be found throught the citeseer site, but also through the digital libraries of the ACM, the IEEE, or the IEEE Computer Society, to which you have access to the library. Not every document that citeseer quotes has appeared in a peer-reviewed conference or journal and therefore qualifies.. You should not select white papers (typically marketing hype instead of explanations).


The student will pick a research article (typically a conference proceeding) in an area related to the course topics. The article cannot be assigned course reading. The student will submit a paper report, typically 3 - 5 pages in length (Times Roman 10 pt, single- spaced) plus necessary figures. The report should have proper headings and sections, including a bibliography when appropriate. A well-written report could use the latex style "article", follow the style sheet of an engineering society, or simply follow the example of the article under review. The report will typically address the following issues: To some extent, the paper report is an extension of the introduction to a research article. The "imagined" audience is an engineer who needs extended reviews of the research literature in a field with which (s)he is vaguely familiar.
Hand in the paper report together with the original paper by June 10, 2003.

Grading & Delivery

Grading is based on content and style. The grading will be based on content (50%), style (40%), appropriateness (10%). Two paper reports are due before the Final. It is strongly recommended that students pick an article in consultation with the instructor, submit a final draft to the instructor for comment early in the quarter, and set themselves a deadline of five weeks into the quarter for the first report and of eight weeks into the quarter for the second report. The paper reports need to represent individual efforts. However, you can (and should) ask someone else to read your report in order to give you feed-back on clarity, conciseness, and completeness.

Past experiences suggest that the average grade is in the C+ range. If you submit a draft by June 2, I will give it a preliminary grade. After that, you will have to find me in my office.

Style guidelines

You should not use the rules for quoting the article under review. It is understood that you are elaborating on a paper. However, in general, you should use your own words. Refrain from referring to the authors of the original paper repeatedly. You can use "we" if the "we" is the scientific community, if it refers to the authors' team, use the third person.

Check for errors of grammar and style. Assure yourself that the paper is concise and clear. You would do best to have someone else review the paper for you.

The title should identify the authors, the title of the original paper, and the publication. Use proper sectioning with section headings typed in larger font and appropriately numbered.

© 2003 Thomas Schwarz, S.J., COEN, SCU                                                                              SCU            COEN            T. Schwarz            COEN 180