Project Deadlines and Deliverables

1. The deliverables include a presentation of the project for approx. 30 minutes. Think of this as your opportunity to show off to the audience what is exciting, non-trivial, and cool about your project. The presentation should explain the general background needed to follow the technical development, a short discussion of previous work to set the stage for your work as needed, followed by a motivation for the work performed. Why is the problem you worked on interesting? What is challenging about it? This should be followed with a list of contributions. Now you have set the stage for diving into the key technical details such as algorithms, theorems, proof sketches, and the like, followed by an experimental analysis as applicable. Not all talks will follow this sequence exactly. For example, in some projects more emphasis may be placed on experimental analysis while in others more on analytical results. Some others may strike the middle ground. No matter which template your project falls into, it'd be helpful to have an "Organization" slide up front so it keeps the audience informed what to expect and where we are in the talk. After the technical sections, you may want to talk about any difficulties or issues faced. I'd like to hear the limitations of your work just as much as I'd love to hear your accomplishments. You should highlight any pieces of the project which are unfinished, let's label them "work in progress". In addition, if there are some far flung objectives that may be worth pursuing in the future, you should discuss them under future work. There should be a clear "Conclusions" segment to the talk. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. The slides should be submitted by the time your talk is scheduled. 

2. In some project talks, a demo may be an integral component. 

3. TENTATIVE: Your final project report will be due mid-late December. The structure of the report can essentially follow that of your talk. Some important differences to keep in mind. In your talk, you will only have time to motivate your project and sketch out key ideas. The report is the one that will have to close the loop by providing the details necessary to complete the argument or description or proof or analysis ... . Depending on the material you have, it may happen that you don't have time to present all aspects of your project in your talk. As a hypothetical example, you have, in your project, developed algorithms for detecting topi-wise influential bloggers in twitter. The work may have sections corresponding to topic discovery, behavior analysis for detecting influence, and say verification of patterns of influential bloggers found from the analysis. You may not be able to cover all of this in 30 min. The trick is to *advertise* ALL your contributions in your talk, but say that you will focus on one or two of those. In the report, however, you need to fill in the details for all sections. 

In terms of length of the report, writing style, and rigor, think of "typical" top tier conference submissions, e.g., SIGMOD, VLDB, ICDE, PODS, AAAI, IJCAI, ICML, KDD, WSDM, ECML, ... Of course, they don't all have the same length and the styles and rigor differ to some extent. But you get the idea. I'd suggest 12 pages in a two-column single-spaced format. For your convenience, you may use ACM SIG Proceedings style, available from (choose Option 1 OR Option 2). 

Your report will contain most standard sections (e.g., Introduction, Motivation, Related Work, Background Notions (or Preliminaries), Technical Sections, Conclusions and Future Work + Bibliography. Your emphasis should be on discussing and critiquing prior art and establishing the novelty as well as advantages of whatever ideas/algorithms you propose or whatever results you establish. In other words, you need to position your work properly in the context of prior art. As mentioned above, work in progress is fine, but you should clearly identify which parts of the work are settled and are therefore solid, and which parts you are stuck in, or given more time you would have solved, what ideas you have for solving those parts, etc. Use your imagination and creativity for structuring this part.