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Computer Science EE Topic Advice - Mobile Phone & Computer Data Storage

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Hello everyone...

If possible, I would highly appreciate some feedback and discussion on my Computer Science Extended Essay topic that I am planning to choose.

Is data storage in mobile phones and computers the same?

I thought that I could carry out a survey on three groups of people...

Computer Science Students

Computer Science Teachers

Computer Science Professionals

The questions for each group would vary. Students would get simple yes/no answer questions and professionals would get questions with more discussion. I am using a survey because I was told that analysis is necessary in an Extended Essay so I thought I could analyse the results of a survey that I would conduct.

Unfortunately, I read the following quote in the IB guidelines but I am still confused as to whether it applies to my situation or not.

The candidate’s approach to the research question should include aspects of the theory of

computer science, in addition to other relevant information gathered from up-to-date sources

such as the Internet, or by use of interviews, questionnaires or surveys. Care has to be taken,

when undertaking research using the Internet, that precise searches are used. Data collection

methods such as interviews and questionnaires need to be summarized and a list of questions

and responses given in the appendix.

If the computer is used in a peripheral manner, such as in a survey, in an analysis or in the

development of an application, consideration should be given to registering the extended

essay in the relevant subject and not in computer science.

Thank you very much to those of you who reply to this post.

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What you quoted (well, the second paragraph) refers to using the computer in a secondary manner with regards to your investigation and still thinking it's a CS essay. For example, a candidate who programs a physics simulation (e.g. a simulation of electrical circuits) and then uses this simulation to test for the relationship of two variables. Sure, he's writing a program in Java, which is computer science-ish, but that doesn't make it a CS essay just because he's applying CS knowledge. The computer is just being used in a secondary manner. He's just writing a program, but the investigation itself is about physics, thus the essay should be a physics essay not a computer science one.

This isn't happening in your case. You're using the computer to generate surveys and questionnaires, which the quote you provided states is a valid form to gather information. However, the information you're gathering, and your investigation itself, is about a Computer Science-related field: data storage. You aren't classifying your essay as a CS essay simply because you're using the computer, but because you're actually investigating a Computer Science-related field. So, don't worry about that quote.

Now, about your research question, you've definitely narrowed down your question to something specific about mobiles that can fit in 4000 words, so that's good. But I was wondering one thing though, when you say "data storage" in your research question, are you asking about what type of data people store (e.g. people use mobiles to store photos and videos, and they also use the computer to store these types of data) or are you investigating the ways (i.e. the different types of software and hardware) in which data can be stored and how they are different between mobiles and computers? (Or something else I haven't thought of.) If you're investigating the former, then I think it might be a bit too straightforward to see what type of data people store in their mobiles and computers. Of course, I may be wrong and your analysis will actually be a lot more elaborate than what I'm thinking. In any case, your research question seems good to me.

Edited by Redstar
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What you quoted (well, the second paragraph) refers to using the computer in a secondary manner with regards to your investigation and still thinking it's a CS essay. For example, a candidate who programs a physics simulation (e.g. a simulation of electrical circuits) and then uses this simulation to test for the relationship of two variables. Sure, he's writing a program in Java, which is computer science-ish, but that doesn't make it a CS essay just because he's applying CS knowledge. The computer is just being used in a secondary manner. He's just writing a program, but the investigation itself is about physics, thus the essay should be a physics essay not a computer science one.

This isn't happening in your case. You're using the computer to generate surveys and questionnaires, which the quote you provided states is a valid form to gather information. However, the information you're gathering, and your investigation itself, is about a Computer Science-related field: data storage. You aren't classifying your essay as a CS essay simply because you're using the computer, but because you're actually investigating a Computer Science-related field. So, don't worry about that quote.

Now, about your research question, you've definitely narrowed down your question to something specific about mobiles that can fit in 4000 words, so that's good. But I was wondering one thing though, when you say "data storage" in your research question, are you asking about what type of data people store (e.g. people use mobiles to store photos and videos, and they also use the computer to store these types of data) or are you investigating the ways (i.e. the different types of software and hardware) in which data can be stored and how they are different between mobiles and computers? (Or something else I haven't thought of.) If you're investigating the former, then I think it might be a bit too straightforward to see what type of data people store in their mobiles and computers. Of course, I may be wrong and your analysis will actually be a lot more elaborate than what I'm thinking. In any case, your research question seems good to me.

Thank you very much for your helpful reply and explanation. You really explained the quote well to me...

I meant the different forms of data storage in a computer and in a mobile. Basically... HOW the data is stored and not what is stored...

So I will explore the differences and try to outline why they are different. - Does that sound right?

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Yeah, that sounds good to me. The surveys allow for a personal analysis and the topic itself of data storage is very computer-science oriented and allows for a LOT of technical discussion. All I can add is that you should try to find sources in the internet or in libraries to backup your analysis when comparing the data storage of mobiles and computers, since good Extended Essays, regardless of subject, should always show evidence of thorough research. Your topic looks really good. Good luck!

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Yeah, that sounds good to me. The surveys allow for a personal analysis and the topic itself of data storage is very computer-science oriented and allows for a LOT of technical discussion. All I can add is that you should try to find sources in the internet or in libraries to backup your analysis when comparing the data storage of mobiles and computers, since good Extended Essays, regardless of subject, should always show evidence of thorough research. Your topic looks really good. Good luck!

Haha... Thanks a lot for all your advice and feedback.

Also, I'm just curious as to what you did your CS EE on... ?

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I did it on Cellular Automata theory and Traffic Simulations. I programmed an existing cellular automata model to simulate one-lane traffic, and then modified it to allow traffic flow in two lanes. The objective was to analyze whether or not the modified simulation was better in terms of efficiency, feasibility, accuracy and reliability. I got an A =)

But you don't have to write a program to write a good CS essay. It was just necessary in mine since I was comparing simulations, so I had to program them.

Edited by Redstar

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I did it on Cellular Automata theory and Traffic Simulations. I programmed an existing cellular automata model to simulate one-lane traffic, and then modified it to allow traffic flow in two lanes. The objective was to analyze whether or not the modified simulation was better in terms of efficiency, feasibility, accuracy and reliability. I got an A =)

But you don't have to write a program to write a good CS essay. It was just necessary in mine since I was comparing simulations, so I had to program them.

That sounds AWESOME... nice work man...

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