9/19/2012 THE WPE MEMO 2007 08 (FALL 2007) Department of Computer Science and Engineering University of Minnesota
1. Introduction
This memo describes the Fall 2007 written preliminary examination (WPE) for the PhD program in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota.
Who Can Take This Examination
Only students admitted to the graduate program in Computer Science (MS or PhD) or Computer Engineering MS students may take this examination. MS students who pass this examination may be allowed to apply to the PhD program.
All graduate students who intend to take the WPE must complete the application form attached to this memo. Applications must be submitted in 4192 EE/CSci by the deadline specified on the form. Students will be permitted to take the WPE only if the WPE Committee accepts their applications.
2. WPE Format
To be accepted into Ph.D. candidancy, students must complete the Breadth requirement and pass the Major exam, which consists of two parts: InClass Exam Take Home Exam
2.1 PhD Breadth Requirements
The Breadth requirement can be satisfied through coursework as detailed below and need not be completed before taking the written part of the WPE:
The required number of Breadth courses is 6. Two courses are required in each of the 3 breadth areas:
Theory Systems Applications
The courses in these areas are listed below.
The student should get a B (3.0) or better grade in each of the courses. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.25 (for Master's candidates) and 3.45 (for Ph.D. candidates) for all courses on their degree program, including those used to satisfy the breadth requirement. The breadth courses must be listed on the student’s Degree Program.
A student with an MS degree from another University can petition to transfer up to 3 breadth courses, one from each area. Courses used to obtain the MS degree in our CS or CE programs can be reused for the PhD.
For students entering the Ph.D. program with a substantial number of requisite Breadth courses from their previous programs, there would be a provision to substitute advanced courses (including 8xxx level) in place of the Breadth courses listed below. This would be decided on a casebycase basis by the DGS in consultation with the appropriate faculty. The student will be required to file a petition to make such substitutions. List of courses:
Note: OR means exclusiveor.
Theory:
5302 Analysis of Numerical Algorithms 5304 Computational Aspects of Matrix Theory 5403 Computational Complexity 5421 Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures Intro to Parallel Computing: Architecture, Algorithms & Programming Modern Cryptography 5525 Machine Learning
No more than one of the following Mathematics courses (PhD students only): MATH 5165 Mathematical Logic MATH 5707 Graph Theory and Nonenumerative Combinatorics MATH 5711 Linear Programming and Combinatorial Optimization EE 5531 Probability and Stochastic Processes
Systems:
5103 Operating Systems 5104 System Modeling and Performance Evaluation 5105 Foundations of Modern Operating Systems 5106 Programming Languages 5131 Advanced Internet Programming (Beginning Fall 2002) 5143 RealTime and Embedded Systems 5161 Introduction to Compilers 5204 Advanced Computer Architecture Data Communications and Computer Networks 5271 Introduction to Computer Security Architecture and Implementation of Database Management Systems
No more than one of the following EE courses (PhD students only): EE 5323 VLSI Design I EE 5371 Computer Systems Performance Measurement and Evaluation EE 5381 Telecommunications Networks (This cannot be counted with CSci 5211)
Applications:
5107/5108 Fundamentals of Computer Graphics I OR II 5109 Visualization 5115/5116 User Interface Design: Implementation and Evaluation OR GUI Tools Computer Aided Design I 5481 Computational Techniques for Genomics 5511/5512/5519 Artificial Intelligence I OR Artificial Intelligence II Pattern Recognition 5523 Introduction to Data Mining 5541 Natural Language Processing 5551 Intro to Intelligent Robotic Systems 5552 Sensing and Estimation in Robotics 5561 Computer Vision 5707 Principles of Database Systems 5801/5802 Software Engineering I OR Software Engineering II
No more than one of the following EE courses (PhD students only): EE 5329 VLSI Digital Signal Processing Systems EE 5301 VLSI Design Automation I (This cannot be counted with CSci 5283)
These "OR" operators are exclusiveOR: only one of the two classes may be taken to satisfy the breadth requirement in the area. The breadth requirement is specified in this way to ensure that students gain broad exposure within computer science, rather than focusing on a narrow subdiscipline.
2.2 Major InClass and TakeHome Examinations
Students will be required to discuss with their research advisor or the DGS their research plans and objectives to determine the subjects in which to take the inclass and takehome exams.
The Major exam will have a uniform structure for all students, irrespective of their areas of research. The Major exam will have two parts:
InClass The student will be taking an inclass exam consisting of two parts on two different subjects from the list in row 1 of Table 1. A student will choose any two subjects in which to answer questions. The subjects selected should be most appropriate for the student’s thesis work. For example, a student can select HCI and Learning, or OS and Networks. The duration of the inclass exam will be 4 hours, with about 2 hours needed for each subject exam, which will be comprehensive.
Table 1 consists of a row of inclass questions and a column down the side of take home questions. If there is an X where the two topics intersect, a student can only take either the inclass or the takehome exam. The student should choose, in consultation with his/her advisor, the subject areas that are best related to the student’s research plans.
Each subject area exam will be either openbook or closed book. If an inclass exam subject will be offered as an open book exam, only reference books listed in the WPE memo will be permitted. No typed or handwritten notes or any other printed materials will be permitted for any exam and only basic calculators will be allowed. There will be no laptops. PDAs or cellphones allowed.
TakeHome
The student will be required to answer a takehome exam in one of the subjects listed in column 1 of Table 1. A student can take the takehome exam in any one of these subjects, independent of the choice of major area. For instance, a theory student interested in computer vision algorithms may choose to take the Computer Vision takehome exam.
The takehome exam will be distributed on a Friday by noon, or immediately after the inclass exam if the inclass exam is held on a Friday. The students will be required to submit their paper by noon on the following Tuesday. The purpose of the takehome exam is to assess the ability of the student to analyze research literature in the subject area or answer questions based on a set of papers.
The students will be required to declare the subjects for the inclass and the takehome at the time they register for the WPE. Takehome exams will only be prepared for subjects students have chosen in advance.
I If there is an X in a box, you cannot take both the inclass and takehome questions. nClass Exam Subjects  Architecture (5204)  CAD (5283)  Compilers (5161)  Data Structures and Algorithms (5421)  Databases (5707)  Graphics (5107)  HCI (5115)  Learning (5512)  Logic, Knowledge Rep, Plan, Search (5511)  Networks (5211)  Numerical Analysis (5302 and 5304)  Operating Systems (5103)  Programming Languages (5106)  Robotics and Sensing (5551)  Software Engineering (5801)  Take Home 














 Architecture  X 













 CAD 
 X 












 Compilers 

 X 











 Computational Geometry 














 Computer Vision 














 Data Mining 














 Databases 



 X 









 Distributed Systems 










 X 


 Graphics 




 X 








 HCI/GUI 





 X 







 Intelligent Agents 














 Math Models for Data Mining 














 Networks 








 X 




 Parallel Algorithms 














 Programming Languages 











 X 

 Security/ Cryptography 














 Software Engineering 













 X  Sparse matrix computations 














 Special matrix problems and Advanced matrix computations 














 Visualization 














 