Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


Computer Systems Research

General Course Description

With the relatively extensive hardware and software resources available in the Computer Systems Lab, students have an opportunity to explore both theoretical computer science and computational science topics. Because students are encouraged to utilize high performance computing techniques to investigate some topic of primary interest, related subject areas can be quite diverse including physics, mathematics, biology, medicine, chemistry, art, music, sports, English, foreign languages, social studies, and more. As an alternative to working on the school campus, some students may complete the course through the Mentorship program where they work under the guidance of a mentor based at one of the business or research firms in the region. Students often enter their research projects in the various science competitions such as the Intel Science Talent Search, state and local science fairs, and ThinkQuest. One credit in Technology Independent Research, such as this course in Computer Systems Research, is required for graduation from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.


The student in Computer Systems Research will
  • pursue an individual research project in computer science or any related scientific field that will utilize high performance computing as an investigative research tool.
  • will write a formal research paper in LaTeX that presents the research investigation
  • maintain a hard copy record of individual effort and progress in laboratory activities using an organized laboratory notebook.
  • develop computer skills appropriate for summer employment such as proficiency in UNIX (Linux), mastery of languages such as C, C++, Java or Perl, and familiarity with Web technologies and Internet resources.
  • refine technical communication skills including technical writing, oral presentation, and visual display techniques.
  • assist in the successful operation of major hardware components in the lab with possible supervisory role as a UNIX system administrator.
  • display mature judgement and appropriate ethical standards with respect to computer use and network access.

Course Details

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Donald W. Hyatt

  Randy D. Latimer

Last Update -- August 24, 2000