Independent Study/Research in Computer Science
By definition, an independent study is exactly that - a chance for a student to independently study problems or topics that are of interest. The role of the advisor changes from independent study to independent study, but in general, it is to help students when they run into difficulty and to direct the studies of the students in "promising" directions.
During the first two weeks of the semester (or, preferably during the previous semester), the student wishing to pursue an independent study should approach a faculty member and express interest in doing an independent study. If the faculty member is willing, then both the faculty member and the student together should determine a direction for the independent study and write a short description of the planned study. The faculty member will then discuss the independent study with the rest of the department and must receive the permission of the department to advise the independent study.