CS87 Project: Final Parts

Written Report, Presentation, Code, Demo

Final written report due: Friday May 11 before noon
Project Presentation due: Sunday May 13, 256 Sci Cntr, 2-5pm, or 7-10pm, talk slides upload to wiki by noon.
Project Code due: Monday May 14 before 11:59pm
Project Demo due: during final exam week, and on or before May 16

Counts towards 30% of your final grade


Written Report
Project Demo
What to Handin, and how

Overview: Report, Presentation, Demo
The final part of your course project consists of an oral presentation, a written report, a project demo, and project code submission. The written report and oral presentation are the main parts on which your final project grade will be determined.

You will deliver a ~30 minute presentation on your final project during one of the two final exam slots for our class. And you will write a 10-13 page final report that describes your project (using the latex template in your Project repo). It should be similar in style and organization to the research papers that we read this semester. This is your opportunity to describe in detail what problem you were solving, how you solved it, how you tested your solution, what your results show, difficulties you encountered along the way, what you would have liked to have done (or done differently), and what you learned from your project.

You will also submit all your project code and give me a demo of your project. However, your grade is almost exclusively determined by your written report and oral presentation. This models the real research world where the research paper is the primary, and usually only, mechanism through which your work is evaluated, and where written conference proceedings and conference presentations are the main mechanism through which others learn about your work. Therefore, you should spend a significant amount of effort making sure that you have a complete, and well-written final report and presentation; don't do a fabulous project and then fail to present it well.

See the "Project Presentation" and "Detailed Requirements for the Written Report" section below for details and requirements for these two parts.

Project Presentation
You will give a 30 minute presentation of your work. Plan for 25 minutes of presentation with 5 minutes of questions.

Your scheduled time is available here: Project Presentation Schedule for May 13

Add a .pdf of your talk slides to the moodle wiki prior by noon on May 13. You may additionally add .pptx (using MacOS fonts) and/or a link to a google doc of your slides if you want to present using either of those formats instead of a pdf. However, you should make sure to also upload a .pdf regardless of if you plan to deliver your talk from this format or not.


Your talk should include, the following: Your talk should also have a logical narrative flow to it, so think about structuring your presentation in a logical way. Striving for a top-down approach will help with this. Using lots of figures and diagrams will help explain your project. Simplify, at least at first. And make it clear where the parallel/distributed focus is in your project.

See my Oral Presentation Guide for more detailed information on organizing, slide design, presenting, and preparing for an oral presentation. There are also links to other oral presentation advice.
Also, use these CS87 final presentation rubrics to help you structure your talk and determine good slide content.

Project Demo
During final exam period, your project group will give me a 30 minute demo of your project. You should sign-up for a demo slot on this google doc (link was emailed to the class with some more information about the demo).

It is up to you to decide what you are going to demo. Before we meet, decide what you are going to show me, come up with a simple demo script, and run through it several times to make sure that there are no glitches during the demo. This is your chance to show off all your hard work; you want to convince me that you did something interesting and that you did a substantial amount of work.

Detailed Requirements for Project Written Report
Paper Organization
Writing Style Guidelines
What to handin

You should prepare a final written report that describes your project following the "Paper Organization" and in the manner of the "Writing Style" both listed below.

Your report should be 10-13 pages long using the latex template provided to you in your Project repo. Your report must be at least 10 pages and may not be more than 13 pages long (including references). You may add additional appendices that exceed this length, but they should not contain main content of your paper; they must be true appendix content such as complete longer examples or extra figures (the main figures and graphs should be in the body of your 10-13 page report).

You must write your paper in latex using the template for it in the FinalReport subdirectory of your Project repo:

Makefile  README.md  finalreport.bib  finalreport.tex
The README.md file has information about these files and some links to resources.

Paper Organization

You should have the following main sections in your paper:
  1. Abstract
    The abstract is a brief summary of your work. It should be written to make the reader want to read the rest of your paper. Briefly state the basic contents and conclusions of your paper: the problem you are solving, why the reader should care about this problem, your unique solution and/or implementation, and the main results and and contributions of your work.

  2. Introduction
    The introduction is the big picture of your work: what, why, and how. It includes a definition of the problem you are solving, a high-level description of your solution including any novel techniques and results you provide, and a summary of the main results of your paper. In addition, motivates the problem you are solving (why should a reader find your work important), and describes your contribution to the area (this may not be applicable to your project).

    The first paragraph of the introduction should contain all of this information in a very high-level. Subsequent paragraphs should discuss in more detail the problem you are solving, your solution, and your results and conclusions.

    • Statement of Problem Being Solved
    • Motivation
    • Problem Solution
    • Results and Conclusions

  3. Related Work
    This is an essential part of a research paper; discussing related work is a good way to put your work in context with other similar work, and to provide a way for you to compare/ contrast your work to other's work.

    You should use feedback on the annotated bibliography from your project proposal to structure this section; it should be written as a re-write of your annotated bibliography in a single Related Work section.

  4. One or more sections describing your Solution
    • Details of the problem you are solving
    • Details of your solution and the project's implementation
      Even though you may have spent an enormous amount of time writing code, this should not include a listing of any code you wrote. Only if your project is about developing an algorithm or a new language, may code examples be appropriate here.
    • Discussion of how your solution solves the problem.

  5. Experimental Results demonstrating/proving your solution
    • Explain the tests you performed (and why)
    • Explain how you gathered the data and details of how your experiments were run (any system/environment set up)
    • Present your results
      Choose quality over quantity; the reader will not be impressed with pages and pages of graphs and tables, instead s/he wants to be convinced that your results show something interesting and that your experiments support your conclusions.
    • Discuss your results!
      Explain/interpret your results (possibly compare your results to related work). Do not just present data and leave it up to the reader to infer what the data show and why they are interesting.

  6. Conclusions & Future Directions for your work Conclude with the main ideas and results of your work. Discuss ways in which your project could be extended...what's next? what are the interesting problems and questions that resulted from your work?

  7. A brief meta-discussion of your project Include two paragraphs in this section:
    1. Discussion of what you found to be the most difficult and least difficult parts of your project.
    2. In what ways did your implementation vary from your proposal and why?

  8. References
    At the end of your paper is a Reference section. You must cite each paper that you have referenced...your work is related to some prior work.

Writing Style Guidelines

  1. Write in a top-down style
    First present the the high-level issues, then expand them. This applies to the overall organization of your paper as well as the organization of sub-sections and individual paragraphs.

  2. Conclude each paragraph, section and entire paper
    Each chunk of your paper whether it be a paragraph, a sub-section, a section, or the entire paper should have a conclusion. For example, each paragraph should be written as follow:
    • 1st sentence(s): main idea of paragraph
    • middle sentences: expansion of the idea (further explanation or elaboration of the topic)
    • concluding sentence(s)

    Each section of your paper should be organized as: high-level important points first, details second, summarize high-level points last.

  3. Use active 3rd person
    We present, we show, we demonstrate...

  4. Define terms, and always define them before using them

  5. Use figures
    Use diagrams to help explain system design, and graphs or tables for presenting results. If your project has a GUI component, then your paper should have some screen dumps of your interface (look at the man page for xwd).
    You should have a figure showing the high-level design of your implementation.

More detailed writing advice and guidelines can be found here: CS Research and Writing Guide

What to hand in