CS 518: Homework Guidelines
The goals of the homework are to encourage students:
The homework format is the following.
- to keep up with the reading assignments,
- to think critically and creatively during reading, and
- to develop project ideas early.
The observations are posted automatically on the web. Class
participants can read each others' posts.
In terms of contents, the paper observation can be anything a
student feels like saying about the paper, as long as it is not
some sort of dry summary. This is to discourage people from lifting
boring stuff from the abstract, the introduction, or the conclusion of
the paper. Here are some possible ideas of a paper observation:
- Each student writes a short (roughly 1/4 to 1/2 page) "observation" of
the assigned reading.
Turn in an on-line version by sending mail to email@example.com
before the class
during which the assigned reading is to be discussed.
- Each student is expected to turn in a total of 20 such
observations during the semester, each worth 1.5 points. I expect the
total number of papers to be covered to comfortably exceed 20.
This means that students can skip quite a few papers
in case of scheduling conflicts without being penalized.
Analyzing, synthesizing, applying, fixing, and extending past work is
a big part of OS research. I won't be surprised if some of these
paper observations spawn projects and, subsequently, conference
- Pointing out weaknesses of the paper;
- Asking questions;
- Speculating on how the paper can be improved;
- Designing a new experiment to augment the study;
- An interesting future direction (not mentioned by the paper);
- Comparison against a related paper;
- Really, anything at all. Basically say something clever!