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Research Skills (RCSE)

Course offered by the Systems and Software Engineering group, Winter semester 2019/20


  • Master "Research in Computer & Systems Engineering": mandatory course for the first semester (Module "Soft Skills")
  • 6 LP (credit points)


  • The written exam has been checked and the results are available in the moodle.
  • Organizing Committee meetings have been rescheduled to every Monday at 13:00 in room Z2073 except for December 2 + 9 and January 13 + 20 in room Z1014/15.
  • The class starts with an introduction on Tuesday October 15 at 9:00 in room K-Hs2.
  • Participants need to enrol in the course moodle, and choose their desired role in the workshop until November 12. No further enrolments will be possible after that deadline. The actual roles will be assigned afterwards.
  • It is not necessary to register with the Thoska card for this class
  • The exam about the lecture contents (except for the last one covered after the exam) will take place on Tuesday December 10, at 9:00 in lecture hall H-Hs (the big hall in the Helmholtz building).


The life and work of a researcher has several characteristic workload patterns. Apart from hunting insights, researchers frequently have to give and listen to talks, read, write and review papers, launch research proposals, or organize workshops and conferences.

Successful research also requires many personal qualifications and skills such as analytical quality, ability to learn, to conceptualize, to communicate, to integrate knowledge, scientific discipline, curiosity, initiative, motivation, and, last but not least, quite a bit of masochism (for details see Similar abilities are required for research-oriented engineering jobs in industry and when writing your Masters thesis.

This seminar trains skills that help to do efficient scientific work. Course topics include

  • reading and writing papers
  • presenting your scientific work
  • listening to your colleagues' presentations
  • designing conference posters
  • writing research proposals
  • reviewing papers
  • organizing workshops and conferences

This course on research skills is organized in two parts: a lecture part where the participants learn how to do research, read, write and review research papers, design conference posters, write research proposals, and organize workshops. The second part is practical training, where the participants will apply the new knowledge and write and review papers, design conference posters, and take an active part in organizing a conference.

The concluding event will be the 10th Annual RCSE Conference on Computer and Systems Engineering (CCSE 2020) planned for February 11, 2020, an event that will be fully organized by the course participants. Last year's event: CCSE 2019


  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Armin Zimmermann
  • Support: Francesco Bedini, Cordula Giewald
  • Lectures: Tuesday 9:15-10:45 in room K-Hs2 in October and November
    The contents are checked in a graded test (short exam)
    , details see below.
  • The Monday 9:00 class (room HU 129) listed in the Vorlesungsverzeichnis can be used by the workshop organization committee for regular meetings, if needed. There is no mandatory seminar or lecture on that day.
  • Students either
    • write and submit a 4-page scientific paper to the workshop, and present it in the workshop either with a talk or a poster based on the review results
    • or become a member of the organization committee and independently organize the workshop, and only submit a shorter paper (~2 pages) without poster or presentation
  • All students take part in reviewing the papers and attend the workshop
  • Grading is based on:
    • 30% written exam
    • 20% reviews
    • For committee members: 30% committee work + 20% short paper
    • For regular participants: 30% paper + 20% presentation or poster
  • Applications for the organization committee will be handled via moodle.
  • All parts of the course are held in English.

Lectures and Reading Assignments

Slides from the lectures will be made available here as PDF documents during the semester.
There may be later updates to the slides.
You can access the documents after logging into the web page (top right) with your Uni account.




The 60-minute written exam will take place December 10 at 9:00 in lecture hall Helmholtz-Hs. Participants need to bring and present a photo ID (Thoska card).

An exam document with questions and enough place to fill in the answers will be provided during the exam. Students may bring one A4 (one-sided) "cheat" sheet of hand-written notes prepared by themselves. No other material is allowed. Use of cell phones, additional cheat sheets, electronic devices with storage and any form of copying from or communication with others during the exam is strictly forbidden and leads to a failed grade. Pens and clear plastic bottles are allowed.

To get credits for the class, each part must be passed (at least 50% of points). If you fail the class and repeat it in a later semester, you can keep your partial results. However, be aware that the class may be organized in a different way in the future and that it will not be clear how to transfer partial results. It will be up to the organizer of each semester to specify the grading process.