CMSC 634: Empirical Methods — Spring 2017


A graduate-level introductory course on empirical research methods for computer scientists. Introduction to constructs and methods of measurements, qualitative and quantitative design, experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental design, and statistical analysis.


Meeting times: Tuesday-Thursday, 3:30-4:45

Location: CSI 3120

Office hours: Thursday 2:30-3:30 p.m., AVW 3421

Learning objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Select and apply appropriate methods for collecting empirical research data;
  • Select and apply appropriate methods to evaluate collected data and reach defensible qualitative conclusions;
  • Select and apply appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical methods to evaluate collected data and reach defensible quantitative conclusions;
  • Critically evaluate data collection and analysis presented by others;
  • Accurately and effectively present empirical methods and corresponding results in written and oral formats.


The detailed schedule (including reading assignments) can be found here.

Course Materials

There is no required textbook to purchase, but here are some books we will be using frequently:

Requirements and Grading

  • 35% Project
  • 30% Homework assignments
  • 20% Final exam
  • 5% Critique
  • 10% Class participation

For details, see the Requirements And Grading page.

For further information about class policies, see the Policies And Procedures page.