Students are expected to do the assigned reading, participate in class discussions, write two paper reviews each week, and complete a final project and warmup coding assignment.  There are two types of presentations: a paper presentation that involves doing background research on a topic (using the papers from the provided list), and an experiment presentation relevant to one of the selected papers.  Details of our schedule will depend on total enrollment.

Note that presentations are due Wed one week before the slot your presentation is scheduled.  This deadline is a hard deadline.  This means you will need to read the papers, prepare experiments, slides, etc. more than one week before the date you are signed up for.  The idea is to meet and discuss ahead of time, so that we can iterate as needed the week leading up to your presentation. 

Paper reviews


The quality of our discussions will rely on how prepared everyone is when they come to class.  It is important to do the reading in order to actively participate.  Students are required to submit two paper reviews per week for the assigned papers.  (We'll usually read 3 papers each week; just choose 2 of those assigned to review.)

Each review should address the following (in any order):


See examples of well-written reviews from previous classes.

Reviews are due by 10 PM on the night before class (Tuesday).  Email reviews to Kristen and the TA, pasting the text directly into your mail (no attachments, please).  Include [CS395] in the subject header.

In weeks that you are presenting, you can skip writing the reviews.


Paper presentations

Each student (or team, depending on the total enrollment) will give a presentation in class covering 3 papers on a topic selected from the course syllabus list.  This presentation should overview the papers and explain technical details, and synthesize any underlying commonalities or highlight interesting distinctions.

The talk should be well-organized and polished, sticking to about 30 minutes.  Please run through it beforehand and check the time (a good rule of thumb: generally 30 minutes ~ target 30-35 slides total).

Include these components in the presentation:

Try to use applications to motivate the work when possible, and look for visual elements (images, videos) to put in the presentation.  Check out the webpages linked on the class webpage, and also look at authors’ webpages for supplementary materials.  It’s ok to grab a few slides from conference talks etc. when available, but be sure to clearly cite the source on each slide that is not your own. 

 Here are a couple examples of good presentations from previous classes:  example1  example 2.

Experiment presentations


For each topic one person will present the results of some experimental evaluation of some main idea in a paper we read.  Basically the goal is to implement a distilled version of an essential technical idea in the paper, and show us some toy example of how this works in practice.  For many papers, you may be able to find code or binaries provided by the authors online (see links on our course page schedule alongside the papers).  The goal is to help us gain a more complete intuition about the work we are studying.  You might:


Note that the goal here is not to recreate published results or to build systems as described in the paper.  Instead, you are looking to make a small illustrative demo that will let us more deeply understand what we have read.  To avoid redundancy with the paper presentation, this presentation should not spend time explaining the methods of the papers; you can assume this is covered already.

Spend some time playing with your implementation, and put thought into what would be an instructive toy example to show the class.  The demo should allow us to learn something about the method, not just see it.  If you needed to implement something yourself, explain how you did it, and especially point out any details or choices that weren’t straightforward, in case others in the class can leverage your experience later when working on the project.  Be sure to explain the rationale for the outcomes, and conclude with a summary of the message(s) your example illustrates.

An experiment presentation should take about 30 minutes.  In your presentation, include links to any existing code, data, etc. you may have used

Here are a couple examples of good experiment presentations from previous classes:  example1  example 2.



Timetable for presenters:

By Wed the week before your presentation is to be given: email slides to Kristen and the TA, and schedule a time to meet.

The week of your presentation: refine the slides based on input from the instructors, practice, and check time length of the talk.

The day of the presentation: send final slides to Kristen.



A project could be built around any of the following, and should be done with a partner:

Initial project proposals will be due before the middle of the term.  Details on the format will be given in class beforehand.



Grades will be determined as follows:

Please read the UTCS code of conduct.