The Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary
holds both written and oral Candidacy Examinations for its Ph.D.
students that are intended to ensure that every Ph.D. candidate
has adequate background knowledge of the area of specialization
in which he or she will pursue research. The written component
is set individually for each student, and questions are generally
set by members of the candidate's Supervisory Committee. Its scope
is delimited by a reading list, prepared by the supervisor in
consultation with the Supervisory Committee and other members of the
department interested in the area of specialization, which is given
to the candidate some months prior to the examination.
In order to give examples of the scope of the candidacy examination, here
are six reading lists and question papers that were set during 1991. They
are all for students working in areas loosely related to artificial
intelligence, and this should help to give some indication of the extent
to which reading lists, and examinations, are tailored to individual
students' interests. The written examination has both a closed-book and
a take-home component. The former often contains more than one paper and
the latter typically lasts for several days. The oral component follows
within a few weeks, after the examination has been marked. It tends to
focus on the student's answers to the written questions, and also on his
or her research proposal.
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