CPSC500 Reading Project
2017 Winter Term 1

The course project is a chance for you to dig deeper on a topic of interest to you, learn about interesting algorithms or data structures that may fall outside the scope of the class, or to relate the course material to a problem in your research area. You may want to dig deep into one paper, or delve into more than one paper on the topic of your choice.

I've included some suggestions below. Some are classical papers in the field, others quite recent. Don't feel limited by these - if you have a different paper you'd like to study, run it by me before commiting to it.

I recommend small groups of size 2 or 3 for the project. It can be a lot more productive and fun to work with someone else, particularly if the material is dense.

Send me an emil by Friday, October 13, stating what paper you will read, and who is in your group. One email per group is sufficient, cc'ing all group members. You are welcome to come and talk to me beforehand about your ideas.

Once you have chosen a project topic, please stop by to discuss how it's going. I'll be happy to talk with you as you make progress or get stuck, and I'm sure that others in the department will be happy to help also. Make sure to stop by at least once - just ask or email me to set up a time.


You'll share what you've learned from reading the paper in a class presentation. Make sure that everyone has a chance to shine in the presentation, and help each other prepare. The length of a presentation will depend on the group size, roughly between 15 and 20 minutes.

In your presentation, motivate your choice of algorithm, give an overview of the main ideas, and insight to the underlying technigues. Share ideas for future work. Provide illustrative examples; use the board, slides, or both.

Use this as a chance to give good presentations! Practice with your friends. Find simple examples to illustrate the more complicated concepts. Don't try to squeeze in too much material, but rather try to get the important ideas across. If you have a draft of your presentation ready at least 48 hours before your presentation date, I'll be happy to provide feedback one on one. We'll schedule presentation times outside of regular class hours, most likely in early December (in lieu of classes cancelled in September), or during the last week of class (in which case I'll give make-up lectures at times TBD).


Your grade will be based primarily on your presentation.

Paper Suggestions (don't feel limited by these):

Some of these were suggested by Chris Thachuk (Caltech) and others by Valerie King (UVic).