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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Erin Marie Peinado Olnon
E E 500
Seattle Campus

Graduate Seminar

Weekly seminars on current topics in electrical engineering. More than one section may be offered in a given quarter. Credit/no-credit only.

Class description

EE 500 (1-credit)/ EE 400 (2-credits) is a *peer-reviewed* seminar required of all PMP students. This seminar does not meet in person; rather, students complete seminar requirements over the course of the quarter by choosing either a recorded Colloquium session (made available online weekly) or an IEEE Xplore article, and preparing a review of one or the other.

Effective Fall 2012, students are required to take a minimum of 5 (maximum of 9) credits of the colloquium (EE 400 or EE 500). Seminars do not need to be taken consecutively; they may be taken at any point during your PMP studies. Students may choose to take any combination of EE 400 (2 credits) or EE 500 (1 credit) to reach the minimum credit requirement.

EE 500 requires that students choose one recorded colloquium *or* an IEEE Xplore article and write a 4-5 page, double spaced review of either the speaker or the journal article of your choice. EE 400 requires that students choose one recorded colloquium *or* an IEEE Xplore article and write two 4-5 page, double spaced reviews of either the speaker or the journal article of your choice.

*Note that the only differences between EE 400 and EE 500 are the # of papers and peer edits required (and of course, the credits for each – EE 400 (2) vs. EE 500 (1)).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Not to be confused with a book review, a journal article review is generally directed toward a reader who is knowledgeable in the field and is interested not in a summary of the article being reviewed, but in your critical assessment of the ideas and argument(s) being presented by the author. In other words, the purpose is not to recap someone else’s work, but to offer an original assessment of – in our case – either the colloquium or the IEEE Xplore journal article.

Your review might be guided by the following questions: 1. What does the speaker/article set out to do? 2. What are the central concepts? 3. What is the central argument? a. Do you agree/disagree? 4. How well does the work advance our knowledge of the subject? 5. Is contrary data considered or is certain pertinent information ignored to prove the speaker’s/author’s point? 6. Are the speaker’s/author’s arguments convincing? Does the work ultimately contribute in any significant way to an understanding of the subject? 7. What is your opinion? How should future research be directed?

SUBMISSIONS: At the beginning of the quarter, all registered students will be emailed an account ID and password for access to Turnitin, the program we use for Colloquium peer reviews. A first draft of your review will be submitted to Turnitin and anonymously distributed to another student in the seminar who you are “paired” with. Students will not know who they are paired with and all identifying information will be removed during the quarter.

All submissions MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: 1. Colloquium Date/Title (if applicable) 2. IEEE Xplore article Title, Author and link 3. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, STUDENT # or ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION Reviewers will then read the draft and provide feedback via Turnitin PeerMark. Guidelines for feedback may include (but are not limited to): 1. Do you have a clear understanding of the topic being discussed? 2. Does the student provide a critical/original evaluation of the talk/article, or simply summarize someone else’s work? 3. Does the student point out any contrary data? Did the student present alternative opinions? 4. Does the student provide ideas on how future research should be directed? Once peer reviews have been completed, feedback will be returned to the student for final edits. Final drafts will be reviewed by the original reviewer, and a final grade (CR/NC) will be assigned by the reviewer.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Erin Marie Peinado Olnon
Date: 09/24/2012