Course Description:

Writing by engineers and computer scientists to technical audiences. Writing exercises include: cover letter and resume for job application, tutorial writing, grant proposal, document specification, literature review, and a final technical report. Two oral presentations are also required, an in-class presentation and a poster presentation. Students also receive instruction in the use of UC library and journal database resources, and in the writing of a statement of purpose for graduate school application.

Contacts, Lecture/Section times, and Office Hours:

  • Instructor: Gerald Moulds
    • Office hours: Wednesdays 1pm-3pm (or by appointment)
    • Office hours to be arranged via Zoom.  All enrolled students should receive a Zoom invitation via email.  If you are not a student and would like to meet during office hours, contact gmoulds@ucsc.edu.
    • Office Location: All meetings online, via Zoom.
    • e-mail: gmoulds@soe.ucsc.edu
  • Section 01A - Tuesday 6:40-7:45pm
    • Teaching Assistant: Meghna Burli
    • Office hours: Friday 5:00-6:30pm
    • Email: mburli@ucsc.edu
  • Section 01B - Thursday 11:40am-12:45pm
    • Teaching Assistant: Brad Thompson
    • Office hours: Tuesday 12:00-1:30pm
    • Email: bradt@soe.ucsc.edu
  • Section 01C - Monday 4:00-5:05pm
    • Teaching Assistant: Saheed Adepoju
    • Office Hours: Friday 5:30-7:00pm
    • Email: sadepoju@ucsc.edu
  • Section 01D - Wednesday 9:20-10:25am
    • Teaching Assistant: Tiffany Thang
    • Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00-2:30pm
    • Email: tthang@ucsc.edu
  • Section 01E - Friday 12:00-1:05pm
    • Teaching Assistant: Hari Kuttivelil
    • Office hours: Friday 1:30-3:00pm
    • Email: hkuttive@ucsc.edu
  • Section 01F - Wednesday 2:40-3:45pm
    • Teaching Assistant: Kevin Bowden
    • Office Hours: Wednesdays 12:45-2:15pm
    • Email: kkbowden@ucsc.edu
  • Class meetings
    • Location: Online, via Zoom
    • Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 3:20-4:55pm
  • Assignments:
    • Note: Some assignment descriptions may be updated as the quarter progresses.


Rough Draft Due

Final Due

1. Resume and Cover Letter

Thursday 10/8

Thursday 10/15

2. LaTeX Tutorial

Thursday 10/22

Thursday 10/29

3. Project Proposal (unrelated to the Grant Proposal)


Tuesday 11/3

4. Grant Proposal

Thursday 11/5

Thursday 11/12

5. Document Specification


Tuesday 11/17

6. Literature Review

Thursday 11/19 Tuesday 12/1

7. Poster Project


12/1 or 12/3

8. Final Project

 Tuesday 12/8

Tuesday 12/15

9.Oral Presentations


Throughout Quarter

 Submitting papers:

  • All papers must be peer edited before they are submitted.
    • Peer editing will take place on Canvas.
    • Your TA will provide instruction on how to do this.
  • Late papers are subject to a reduction in grade.
    • Grade reduction applies to rewrites, affecting the maximum possible grade for the assignment.

Rewrite policy

On writing assignments, not including the Final Project, students have two weeks from the day their assignments are handed back (or their scores are posted online) to revise and rewrite their work for an improved grade. This can be done multiple times on some assignments, but keep in mind that we need time to re-grade and return assignments, and that nothing can be resubmitted later than the due date of the Final Project.


Students will turn in rough and final drafts of assignments via Canvas.


This quarter, the course will be taught live via Zoom teleconferencing during the scheduled time for the course, although recordings of the lectures should be available online later the same day. If an unexpected lack of network connectivity or other mishap makes live delivery impossible, some lectures may be recorded at another time and put online.

Because Zoom is still a relatively new instruction medium, we will have to establish rules of communication etiquette as the quarter develops.  To start with, the first rule is simple: be respectful of your fellow students.

You can get started with Zoom by visiting https://ucsc.zoom.us/ and signing in with your UCSC credentials.  There are video tutorials available if you need assistance.

Attendance and Participation

Section attendance is mandatory.  Students may miss up to 3 sections with no grade penalty, but for each section beyond 3, students will be penalized one full letter grade (A to B, B+ to C+, and so on) for the entire course. 

Lecture attendance is also mandatory, but students may miss up to 5 lectures without penalty.  If circumstances dictate that you cannot regularly attend lecture, contact the instructor via email and we can discuss reasonable accommodations.

Additionally, this is a class that benefits immensely from regular student participation.  Giving feedback on student presentations, asking useful questions, and contributing to discussion are important elements of the class.  Since the course will be recorded via Zoom, we will be paying attention to active video participants and looking through chat logs, and each student's level of participation may affect their final grade.


Grades will be mostly based on the written work submitted over the course of the quarter.  This consists of four major writing projects and a final project.  Failure to complete a major writing assignment or give a presentation constitutes grounds for failing the course.  Major writing assignments are each worth ~15% of your grade, except the final project which is worth ~25% of your grade.  Each of these assignments has a peer editing component, in which students evaluate each other's rough drafts, and this will impact your overall grade as well. Oral presenations are, together, worth 15% of your grade.  Your grade is also subject to adjustment dependant on your minor writing assignments and active participation in class and section.

Academic Integrity:

Academic integrity is the cornerstone of a university education. Academic dishonesty diminishes the university as an institution and all members of the university community. It tarnishes the value of a UCSC degree. All members of the UCSC community have an explicit responsibility to foster an environment of trust, honesty, fairness, respect, and responsibility. All members of the university community are expected to present as their original work only that which is truly their own. Plagiarism of any kind is unacceptable. All members of the community are expected to report observed instances of cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty in order to ensure that the integrity of scholarship is valued and preserved at UCSC. Any student found in violation of the UCSC Academic Integrity policy may face both academic sanctions imposed by the instructor of record and disciplinary sanctions imposed by the graduate division. Violations of the Academic Integrity policy can result in dismissal from the university and a permanent notation on a student's transcript. For the full policy and disciplinary procedures on academic dishonesty, students and instructors should refer to the Academic Integrity page at the Division of Undergraduate Education or Graduate Division.

POSTERS: On December 1st and 3rd, students will present posters.

Poster Information:

    • Posters will be delivered online, not in person, so no printing is necessary.
    • Students will present their poster as a single PDF to a group of 10-12 students in a Zoom meeting facilitated by either a Teaching Assistant or the instructor.
    • BELS has suggestions and requirements for making a good poster.  Go to their pages on poster printing and poster guidelines. (Note: You will not need to print posters while the course is taught remotely.)

CSE 185E Prerequisite(s): Satisfaction of Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements; and CSE 12 or CSE 15 or BME 160 or by permission of the instructor. Enrollment is restricted to computer engineering, bioengineering, bioinformatics, biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics, robotics engineering, or network and digital technology majors.

CSE 185S Prerequisite(s): CSE 101, one additional upper-division CSE course, and satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements. Enrollment is restricted to computer science majors, or by permission of the instructor.

Disability Accommodations and Support:

UC Santa Cruz is committed to creating an academic environment that supports its diverse student body. If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations to achieve equal access in this course, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me privately during my office hours or by appointment, preferably within the first two weeks of the quarter. At this time, I would also like us to discuss ways we can ensure your full participation in the course. I encourage all students who may benefit from learning more about DRC services to contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089, or by email at drc@ucsc.edu.

Title IX reporting disclosure:

Title IX prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence, you can receive confidential support and advocacy at the Campus Advocacy Resources and Education (CARE) Office by calling (831) 502-2273. In addition, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can provide confidential, counseling support, (831) 459-2628. You can also report gender discrimination directly to the University’s Title IX Office, (831) 459-2462. Reports to law enforcement can be made to UCPD, (831) 459-2231 ext. 1. For emergencies call 911. Faculty and Teaching Assistants are required under the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment to inform the Title IX Office should they become aware that you or any other student has experienced sexual violence or sexual harassment. If you prefer to speak to someone confidentially, please contact UC Care (see above).