- Find a Partner. The topic talks will be done in teams of
two students. That means that you'll have to find a partner and agree
on a common topic. To make it as easy as possible, we will set up a
list of "personal ads," listing
the students' interests and backgrounds. Look through the list and
identify people who might share similar interests, then send them
email and arrange to meet with them so that you can come up with a
- Find a topic. You can use the
list of potential topics as a starting
point. As soon as you have decided on the
general area (which can be fairly broad at this point), email that
info to Risto. Together Risto
and you will then focus it and come up with an initial reading
list. After the topics are set, Risto will put together a schedule of
talks roughly according to topic (see class schedule).
- Do the literature survey. Go over the reading material,
reading selectively, and follow the references. Google Scholar is a
particularly good tool, and particularly through ezproxy
(which will give you access to most on-line papers through UT library).
- Assign the reading.
A week before your talk meet with me after class; we'll decide on the
required and optional reading assignments for your talk and the general
outline of the talk. In general, one required paper (or two if they are
short) and 1-4 optional ones.
Immediately afterwards, please email the references (with the URLs for each paper) in
html format to the TA; s/he will put them in the reading
list. Note that we are distributing the papers electronically only,
so scan any papers that are not electronic and put on your website so people can access them.
- Put together the talk. Put together a 50 min talk (about
20-40 slides total for the whole 50 mins). In general, you should (1)
give an intro to the topic, (2) present an overview of previous work,
(3) explain a few most interesting approaches in detail, (4) propose
your own ideas (your chance to get feedback for your project). Use a
lot of figures on your slides (almost every slide should have a
figure). Do not put too much on one slide (no full paragraphs).
Schedule a meeting with the TA through
email a few days before the talk. You should have your slides ready
at that time, so
that you can go over the talk with the TA, and you should do it early
enough so that you can incorporate the TAs suggestions into your
talk. The idea is that the TA can give you feedback on how to make the
talk more accessible and useful for the wider audience.
- Grade the questions. Before the talk you will have a chance
to look at the questions and get an idea what the discussion is going
to be like, but it is not a test and you are not expected to be able
to answer all the questions. After your talk, you will grade the
questions (pass/fail). The idea is that your are in the best
position to judge them and benefit from them the most. You can also
provide feedback to the people who ask them, or to the whole cs394n
The questions should provide some new perspective or insight into the
material. Questions that concern trivial details (like "What was the
learning rate?" or have no clue ("I didn't understand how they trained
the network, please explain") should receive an F. Append your grades
to the list of students in the class,
and send the grades in email to the TA. Note: it is not sufficient to say
"everyone passed" because some people may not have turned in any