Scientific Method

Official title

185.A77 Wissenschaftliche Methodik (SE2)
185.A77 Scientific Method (SE2)

Study programs

Elective course in the master programs in computer science in the catalog "Fach├╝bergreifende Qualifikationen".

This course is recommended particularly for doctoral students. If you want to take this course, you should ask your advisor to add it to the courses you have to take.

Date and time

You can register until March 20, 23:59 through TISS.

Provisional dates are in Argentinierstra├če 8, 4th floor, middle entrance, straight ahead into the library.

 Mo, March 25th, 2024 14h c.t.-18h Lecture by Anton Ertl.

Presentations by students about an existing paper:
 Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 9h c.t.-13h

Presentations by students about their own planned work:
 Friday, May 31st, 2024 14h c.t.-18h
The dates are provisional and can be changed if the need arises (on either side) to dates that are mutually more agreeable.


The methods of theoretical computer science are mathematical proofs. The methods of social science are interviews, surveys, and their evaluation. Both are taught in the informatics programs at TU Wien.

The methods in (computer and software) systems research are measurements on hard- and software systems (such as benchmarks). In this course you learn these methods, and when to use them, or when to better use the methods of theoretical computer science or social science.

If you read papers submitted for publication, and sometimes even in published papers, you often find methodological mistakes. This course hopefully will contribute to raise the methodological quality, by helping the participants write better papers, and by recognizing methodological mistakes when you review papers.

This seminar can also be useful if you take up a carreer in industry: It gives you a better idea of the value of a paper (e.g., the white paper of some technology whose adoption your company considers).


Recognize methodological mistakes in publications. Learn correct methodology for your own work.


Listen to a lecture on scientific method in Informatics, particularly in systems.

Give a presentation about the methodology of an article of your choice, followed by a discussion.

Give a presentation about a research problem, and a plan for a scientific research project on that problem; what ways to attack the problem are thinkable, which of those are interesting, which are doable given enough resources, and what do you actually do. This presentation will typically be about your own unfinished thesis (or maybe a paper project you have in mind), but you are free to present something else. The presentation is followed by a discussion.

The main focus of both presentations is the methodology of the work, but of course you also have to explain the topic of the work to the extent necessary for understanding and discussing the methodology.


The students should have read several scientific papers from the areas of computer science.


Your grade is based on your presentations and your participation in the discussions.



English or (if everybody agrees) German

Held by

Anton Ertl