Your In-class Presentation

Remember your audience - your talk should be understandable by any CS student (at your level) who has taken this class.

For the presentation, remember that you will not have enough time to cover EVERYTHING in your paper. Use "Open Office Presentation", "Star Office Presentation", or "Power-point". It is a good idea to have a backup plan, like a .pdf version of the slides. You may also want your own notes or a condensed printout of your slides, just in case we have an unexpected problem with the technology. If you need special equipment, let the instructor know in advance! Focus on the graphs/figures from your report, and include bulleted items to illustrate your points. Do not use full sentences on the presentation slides, but enough to convey the idea.

Consult the class web page for how long your presentation should last. You also need time for questions. Time yourself - how quickly do you go through slides? Have a set of main slides that you will use for the presentation, and have a few others in reserve to address questions as needed. If you work with partners, make sure that you present a fair share of the slides, and that you are able to answer questions. Volunteer to answer questions when you know the answer.

In the allotted time*, you want to narrow your focus as time goes on. One possibility is to spend:

The above is not a requirement, just a suggestion.

Include a slide with your references, and be sure to cite your sources during the presentation. The references should be complete, not just titles and authors. Even if you only have one reference, that should appear in the reference slide.

Include relevant observations, measurements, and statistics. For example, the VLSI class should: Include statistics such as timing information if available by simulation, or if not, your own analysis about critical path, delays, and clock cycles. Be sure to include size information: the total size of the circuit measured (X lambda by Y lambda), and the transistor count.

* It is difficult to present your work concisely within this time-frame. People find it much easier to talk about their projects without regard to time, rambling on about minor points. This shows that the presentation is not rehearsed, and that the speaker has not considered what factors are essential to the presentation, and what factors are merely details. Therefore, I may stop your presentation if you exceed the time-frame. See my opinion on student writing for more information.

As Kai A. Olsen wrote in "The Economics of International Conferences," Computer, June 2004, page 90:        
        "...few understand the difficulty in giving a short presentation. Winston Churchill
        once said that he needed 10 minutes to prepare a three-hour presentation, but 10
        hours to prepare a 10-minute one."

Grades will be based on the following criteria:

You may be asked to provide feedback on each others' presentations, typically through an automated website. This is part of the assignment: you are expected to understand what your fellow classmates are presenting, and you are expected to assess how well they complete the assignment. You should be able to say at least one positive observation, and include at least one critical comment. You do not rate yourself. Failure to provide appropriate feedback may result in a loss of points for you.

Every student who presents will receive feedback. Your feedback to others will be given to them, in an anonymous way. They will know what you say, but they will not know who said it.

This automated feedback may not be (or may be) used in determining grades. In the past, this has not been done due to practical reasons. Currently, it is possible to rank students according to this feedback. But this has a number of implications, such as students evaluating their friends numerically higher than they deserve, or students evaluating everyone else lower than they deserve to make themselves look better in comparison. Currently, the professor's feedback is used to determine your grade, and the other feedback is included for your information. (As of this update, the numerical feedback has only been used once, but the students' rankings were very consistent with the professor's rankings. However, in the 3 cases out of 14 where the professor and class disagreed, the professor's rankings were used to determine the grade.)

The goals of the feedback system are

Think of the feedback system as an exercise for you, not a grade for others. Honesty is important, as is impartiality. Your ability to accurately review others' work is being tested. If your review about someone's work stands out from the class, this could be good or bad, according to your justification. For example, you could lose points if you rate someone's work highly and say that it is flawless, when the rest of the class rates it poorly and lists several flaws. On the other hand, if you are the only one to rate another person's work highly or poorly, and you point out something relevant that no one else thought about, you could get extra points.

Arriving late for class means that you will be marked *late* for this assignment. If someone is presenting when you arrive, wait until they are finished before disturbing the class.

Last update: September 18, 2015