Computer science term papers: Tips and topics — release your inner nerd

Student practicing his coding skills.

Student practicing his coding skills.

You’re studying computer science because you like to code and create magic on the computer. But now you have to create a research project and write a term paper. Yikes! Bet you could use some tips on how to get started and what topics would be a good choice for you. No problem. Let’s get started and release your inner nerd.

Start your quest for info at Questia

You can start your research project on the right foot by heading over to Questia, the world’s largest online library providing thousands of full-text books and articles. Your exploration will give you tons of ideas on topics that you could use for your paper. Then, the great thing about Questia is that you’ll be able to follow the links to all kinds of research-quality resources.

Begin with the topic of Science and Technology then move on to Computers and the Internet. From there you could go on to such topics as:

  • Internet advertising
  • Digital divide
  • Hackers and hacking
  • History of computers
  • Digital imaging

See what I mean? If you didn’t have an idea for your term paper before, a trip to Questia should definitely help you find your focus.

Check Out Professional Organizations


There are several professional organizations that are devoted to computers, science and related fields. Perhaps the largest of these organizations is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, referred to as the IEEE (Eye-triple-E), with more than 400,000 members in more than 160 countries. These members include computer scientists, software developers, information technology professionals, physicists, medical doctors, and many others in addition to their electrical and electronics engineering core.

IEEE Spectrum Blogs

At their website, you’ll find all kinds of useful information and links along with blogs that cover a multitude of topics. You’ll definitely want to check out the IEEE Spectrum blogs. An example of what you’ll find is this snippet from an April 26, 2012 post titled, “Algorithms Replace Spinal Cord In New Approach to Neural Prosthetics,” where Morgen Peck describes the work of neuroscientists in making robotic limbs.

Peck explained how new research may help victims of spinal cord injuries when he said, “Lee Miller, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University is working on an elegant solution specifically designed for this population. Rather than feeding recorded brain activity into a prosthetic limb, Miller has shown that he can loop around a dysfunctional spinal cord and plug back into a paralyzed arm, reanimating it with electrical pulses.”

Other IEEE Spectrum blogs include:

  • The Risk Factor: news and analysis on IT projects, software and systems failures, successes, and innovations, security threats, and more.
  • Energywise: energy, power, and green technology.
  • Automation: robotics, automation, mechatronics, artificial intelligence, robot kits, and more.

In addition to information on conferences, events, and research, you’ll also find resources for professional development, careers, and an elearning library.

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society delivering resources that advance computing as a science and a profession. At the ACM site you’ll find publications, information on conferences, and career resources.

The ACM blogs are worth your attention because you’ll find all sorts of useful information to help you in your professional development. For example, Joel C. Adams revealed statistics pointing to a coming surge in jobs for computer science graduates in his April 19, 2012 post for Communications of the ACM blog titled, “Hot Job Market for Computer Science Graduates.

“The new US-BLS projections predict that the already hot job market for computing professionals will become even hotter this decade. Excluding health care, these projections predict that the five careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the most growth will all be in computing,” Adams said.

Are there any other resources that you find helpful when researching computer science topics? Let us know in the comments!

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