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AB Junior Research Workshops

Junior Research Workshops

Starting Fall 2021, the COS major is switching ABs into a new framework for Junior Independent Work.  Every year the department will designate 3-4 courses in the Fall term as methods courses.  In Fall 2021 these courses are COS 324, COS 326, and COS 375.

About JRWs

Each methods course will have an associated Junior Research Workshop (JRW) and you must enroll in the methods course as well as the JRW.  Participating in the JRW and doing all required work will count as your Independent Work for Fall, and this is the only way for you to fulfill the IW requirement. 

The JRWs will meet separately from their associated classes and will contain material that augments those classes with the aim of helping students prepare an IW project proposal by the end of the fall term.  Students will be evaluated on their involvement in their JRW and on the quality of the IW proposal that they turn in at the end of the term.  This IW proposal can then be the basis for a full term IW project in the spring although students may also elect to participate in an alternate IW seminar or one-on-one IW project, if they so choose.

JRWs are open only to COS AB juniors.

JRWs will teach students —-in the context of technical knowledge imparted by the methods course—-how to come up with and evaluate research ideas, and then formalize the idea in the form of a proposal and a concrete work plan.  JRWs will hold meetings separately from the methods course and teach research methodologies relevant for independent work, including discussion of related literature, appropriate software environments, and writing/research techniques.  This discussion will assume knowledge of concepts taught in the associated methods course.  Hence all students in a JRW need to be enrolled concurrently in the associated methods course, or have taken it in a prior term.

The final product for the JRW (due on the JIW deadline in January) will be a well-researched and polished 8-10-page proposal for an IW project that the student intends to do in Spring term.  A student’s IW grade for the Fall (COS 981) will be assigned by the JRW instructor(s), based upon the student’s participation in JRW activities and the written proposal.

You are not required to pursue your Fall proposal topic in the spring if your interests have changed.

Enrolling in JRWs

To enroll in the JRW for Fall, you should enroll in one of the announced methods courses COS 324, 326 or 375 during course enrollment starting on April 14, 2021.  The next step will be to fill out the JRW enrollment form
for the associated JRW.  JRWs have no cap on capacity, and you can freely switch into another JRW until September 14, 2021 provided that you are also enrolled in the relevant methods course or have previously taken it.

The instructors and meeting times for JRWs for Fall ’21 are available from the webpage (link).  JRWs are distinct from other IW seminars run by the CS department, and are not open to AB seniors or COS BSEs.

In summary, as an AB’23 COS concentrator you will do the following:

  • Enroll in one of the following methods courses - COS 324, 326 or 375
  • Fill out the JRW Enrollment Form to indicate your enrolled methods course or previously taken course (COS 324, 326 and 375)

The JRW instructor will contact you in the summer, to provide additional details regarding the workshop.

If you have any questions, please look through our FAQs first, then email additional questions to the JRW Administrator, cosjrw@princeton.edu.

Fall 2021

The instructors for the Junior Research Workshops will be:

  • COS 324 - Sanjeev Arora and Danqi Chen   Workshops will be held on Tuesdays 3 - 4:20 pm  (4-6 Workshops)
  • COS 326 - Aarti Gupta and David Walker     Workshops will be held on Tuesdays 3 - 4:20 pm  (4-6 Workshops)
  • COS 375 - David August   Tentative - Workshiops will be held on Tuesdays 3-4:20 pm (4-6 Workshops)

FAQs

  1. What if I wish to drop the methods course halfway through the Fall term?  How does this affect participation in the JRW?
  2. Can I do something else for Fall IW in junior year?
  3. How will Independent Work advising work in Spring?
  4. When can I expect additional details regarding each JRW? 
  5. How will my grade be recorded for my fall Junior Research Workshop?
  6. If I enroll in a methods course this spring and want to make a change in the fall, can this be done?
  7. If I have previously taken COS 324, 326 or 375, am I required to still enroll in one of the methods courses this fall?
  8. What if I am enrolled in two or more of the methods courses in the fall, which JRW should I take?
  9. Will COS 333i be offered as a option for AB Junior Independent Work?

 

1.  What if I wish to drop the methods course halfway through the Fall term?  How does this affect participation in the JRW?

The JRW grade is independent of performance in the methods course.  Students needing to drop the methods course are strongly advised keep attending lectures and reviewing course material because it may be useful for following the JRW discussions and in formulating their IW proposal.  Even if you drop your methods course, you must continue to participate in the JRW. This work is mandatory to receive a grade for COS 981.


2.  Can I do something else for Fall IW in junior year?

For AB juniors, IW is required, and the JRW is the only approved way to fulfill this requirement.


3.  How will Independent Work advising work in Spring?

You will enter a matching process to get assigned to an adviser for Spring IW.  You should pick IW advisers with expertise or interest in the topic of your proposed project and express your preferences during the matching process.  Your JRW instructor(s) will be available for 1-1 meetings in December and January during their office hours.  They will give feedback on your proposal draft and also pointers to available IW advisers and IW seminars for Spring.  It is fine to send Spring advisers email in December or January to verify their interest in your topic.  As mentioned above, if your interests change by Spring, you are allowed to find a new topic and project.


4.  When can I expect additional details regarding each JRW? 

Students enrolled in each JRW will receive details about the schedule during the summer.


5.  How will my grade be recorded for my fall Junior Research Workshop?

At the end of the fall term, the Registrar will place COS 981 on your course listing in Tigerhub.  This is where you grade will be placed for the JRW.  The grade for your selected methods course will be separate from the JRW.


6.  If I enroll in a methods course this spring and want to make a change in the fall, can this be done?

Yes, you will just need to complete the change by Sept. 14 and provide an updated JRW Enrollment Form indicating the change to the course.


7.  If I have previously taken COS 324, 326 or 375, am I required to still enroll in one of the methods courses this fall?

No, if you previously took one of the methods courses and want to enroll in that JRW, just fill out the JRW Enrollment Form with the course information.


8.  What if I am enrolled in two or more of the methods courses in the fall, which JRW should I take?

The decision is yours, please provide this information in the JRW enrollment form.


9.  Will COS 333i be offered as a option for AB Junior Independent Work?

No, COS 333i will not be offered as an option for AB independent work. 

 

Other questions? Email the JRW Administrator at cosjrw@princeton.edu.

 
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