This course will be run as a graduate reading seminar. The goal of
the course is for you to be able to learn and synthesize as many of
the readings as possible and apply them to what you are interested in.
Hence your grade will be based on:
This course will be run with a fair but flexible grading scheme; I
will curve the class grades up if I deem them to be too low, but I
will not curve them to make them higher. This grading scheme is
subject to change and may be adjusted as the course progresses.
You are expected to read all of the papers that will be read
for class. Reading and thinking about the papers before class will
enable us to have fruitful discussion. Hence beforehand you are
required to read the paper
and comment on it using the WebCT discussion list for the paper. In order to allow the presenter to have
enough time to look over what everyone has said, you must post your
comments on a paper by 9pm the day before the paper is to be
A good paper reflection will cover the following points:
- The motivations for the work
- The paper's strengths and weaknesses
- Questions about the paper
- How were the results validated? How would you validate them?
The postings will be graded on a 0, 1, 2 grading scale:
To ensure that we all agree about what consists of a 0, 1, or 2
review, I've provided a sample
review for a
paper that we won't be covering. I also will grade the first
reading assignment so that you can have an idea of what to expect, but
I will not count that grade.
A 2 is given if you post something that shows that you have a basic
understanding of most of the paper (not understanding all of the
details is okay, as long as you demonstrate that you've tried) and
have made a good attempt to analyze the paper (note: covering the
above questions is a sufficient but not necessary condition for
receiving a 2).
A 1 is given if you post something that shows that you have made an
honest effort but fail to either provide any analysis or fail to show
that you understand the basic concepts in the paper.
A 0 is given if you post nothing or clearly have spent very little
time on it.
A 2 is worth 100%. A 1 is worth 75%. Everyone gets two free days of
0s. Beyond that, a day with a 0 drops your final grade by 10 percent.
Beyond the two free zeros, I may consider allowing you to turn
in some reviews late under extenuating circumstances, but you
must contact me ahead of time, and I reserve the right to
refuse your request.
Presentations & Discussions
While I will run some classes (particularly at the beginning of the
term), for the most part class time will be spent on student
presentations and discussions. Presentations will be paired, so that
each paper is being presented by two people. The first person is
responsible for discussing the technical points of the paper. The
second person is responsible for leading a discussion of the paper
with respect to the related work (either that read during the class or
other papers) or in the context of the class - how does this relate to
your data, and the points that people have raised in their class
Each person is responsible for presenting two papers; one as the
technical discusser and one as the context discusser. Like the
postings, they will be graded on a 0, 1, 2 scale. Different grades
can be given for two people presenting the same paper. You will
not be graded on your public speaking skills. (A word on improving your public speaking for those
who are particularly anxious).
A 2 is worth 100%. A 1 is worth 75%. A 0 will result in a drop of
your final grade by 25%. If you know ahead of time that you will miss
your appointed time, if you can arrange a swap with someone, there is
no penalty as long as you inform me ahead of time. If an emergency
comes up you must contact me as soon as possible to let me know
that you will not be able to make it, and I may allow you to
make the grade up in some other fashion. Hint: a paper deadline that
you've known about for months is not an emergency.
- A 2 is given if you have done a great job of your presentation.
For the person doing technical content, this involves catching the key
highlights of the paper, and telling us enough details about the work
to get us excited about it without dragging us through all the gory
details. For the person in charge of context, this involves
either thoroughly exploring the discussion points that have
been posted about the paper, or relating the work to the broader
context of the course, whether that's through discussing your own
data, previous readings through the class, or talking about other
related work that I provide.
- A 1 is given if you make a presentation that is moderately
- A 0 is given if you do not show up or if you are very unprepared.
This class is a project class, and one of the major components will be
the project. You can find more information about the project here.
Throughout the course, particularly at the beginning, I will give
small assignments to make sure that you understand some concepts that
will be fundamental to the class.
This class will be much more exciting for all involved if you share
your perspective on the materials discussed. I will not be issuing
grades for participation on a daily basis; I will base this part of
your grade on your participation across the entire course. If you are
concerned about your participation levels, please come talk to me.
[534A home] [grading] [schedule][project]
Office Location: CICSR 345
The Department of Computer Science
University of British Columbia
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