Independent WorkAcademic Year 2006-2007
Feb 7 - Welcome meeting
Feb 14 - forms due
Feb 14-16 - proposal presentations
Mar 27 - checkpoint slides due (no presentations)
May 8 - final report for all non-thesis projects
May 9-11 - final presentations
The slides from the organizational meeting are now available. The main goals of these slides are to reinforce the dates for the semester, and to give some resources for how to find projects, advisors, and research areas in the department.
The slides are the same as from the organizational meeting - no new material has been added to them since that point.
Presentations will take place on Feb 14-16. Sign-up sheets will be on the door of CS 322. You are expected to sign up for one slot and attend all of the talks in that time block.
You will be given 15 minutes for the talk, with 3 minutes expected for questions. Please make your presentation using either PowerPoint or Acrobat. You will be expected to upload your files after your presentation. If you have your own laptop, you may use it. Otherwise, one will be available at the talk - please place the files on your personal web page and you can download it before the presentation.
To improve your presentation, you should practice it, both alone and in front of others, before giving it during your allotted slot. In general, a reasonable format for this talk would be something along the following lines:
Note that each of these bullets may require more than one slide. Please do not feel constrained by the number of slides, but make sure you stay within the time limits. Your slides should be reasonably attractive, visually -- use graphics where appropriate to explain the problem, etc. Most presentation programs have some pre-packaged slide backgrounds, etc., that have reasonable color/font schemes for text, bullets, etc. Do not hesitate to use them. Do not use an overly-gaudy background that distracts from the content of your slides. Remember that the content of your slides is the most important part of this talk. The presentation is meant to enhance it, not mask any weakness in content.
To give some examples of what slides from a technical talk look like, here is an example. This talk combines text and images, uses a pre-packaged slide design, and adds some graphical elements to illustrate concepts. It would be feasible to select any of the intermediate slides in this talk and use it to explain the motivation of the work. Then, just a set of problem slides, background, success, etc., would have to be wrapped around it.
You are encouraged to ask your advisor to take a look at your slides in advance, and to modify them. During the course of the semester, you should be regularly meeting with your advisor and updating him/her on your progress. Failure to do so will be evident at the checkpoints and during the final presentations.
The first checkpoint consists of uploading a series of 5-6 slides describing the current progress on the project. These will be read by the independent work coordinator as well as the advisor. The slides will also be made publically available so that students can observe each other's progress. It is expected that you are regularly meeting with your advisor and discussing the state of your independent work. Your final results should not come as a surprise to your advisor.
No presentation is given during this checkpoint.
For non-thesis work, the final report is due on May 8, 2007, during reading period. This report is expected to be from 20-25 pages, and to look like a professional document -- 10pt Times-Roman font, 1-inch margins, double-spaced. It should contain a proper bibliography, and all non-original text should be properly attributed. Where relevant, charts, tables, etc., should be included, with accompanying captions, etc., to relate them to the text. The technique of "padding" papers using multiple, overly-large figures is well-known, and should be avoided.
A printed copy of the final report should be submitted to Donna O'Leary. Ask your advisor if he/she would like a printed copy and/or an electronic copy. You will also upload an electronic copy in PDF format so that the coordinator has a copy of it.
Final presentations are a more detailed version of the initial proposals. However, the background material should be compressed, and the bulk of the talk can focus on the results of your work. Please still give a brief introduction and background summary, simply to provide context during the talks.
Once again, talks will take place in fixed slots, with a 20 minute time slot per talk. The expected breakdown is a 15 minute talk, with 5 minutes for questions. When you sign up for a slot, please expect to attend all of the talks in that session, and ask questions at the other talks. Your talk file should be placed on the Web, and be in either PDF or PowerPoint fomat.