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Research Seminar Course For MRes and first-year PhD students Spring term January-March Up to 10 weeks, ca.1-2 hours per week

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Presentation on theme: "Research Seminar Course For MRes and first-year PhD students Spring term January-March Up to 10 weeks, ca.1-2 hours per week"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Seminar Course For MRes and first-year PhD students Spring term January-March Up to 10 weeks, ca.1-2 hours per week Seminar/index.html Course leaders: Paul Kelly, Herbert Wiklicky, Uli Harder

2 MAC Research Pathway: Research Seminar Course Course objectives Learn how to evaluate research papers Learn what makes papers good Learn about how papers are refereed and published Learn how to get your papers published

3 MAC Research Pathway: Research Seminar Course Course design: Student presentations: Each student will present one paper during the term Class evaluations: Each week each student is asked to write a short evaluation of one of the papers being presented Class Discussion: Discuss the papers – expose the flaws, analyse the writing, what was the impact?

4 MAC Research Pathway: Research Seminar Course Assessment: Short review submitted each week (you may work in pairs) Longer review of the paper you presented Key skills: Summarise Evaluate Identify the important questions Understand the context

5 What students like about it: Mentoring in preparation for talks Broad sweep of CS topics Class discussions Learn to referee Dont like: Workload Having to read and listen to topics outside specialist area

6 Course objectives Our objective is to study – how research papers are written, – how to read such papers critically and efficiently, – how to summarise and review them. – how to gain an understanding of a new field, in the absence of a textbook – how to judge the value of different contributions – how to identify promising new directions How? – Broad theme Impactful Computer Science" – Broad sweep over research in Computer Science that has had an impact, or might impact in the future – Student presentations – Classroom discussion – Write (and get feedback on) summaries/reviews

7 Paper presentations - assignments Papers will be assigned at the start of the course in January – see web page You can swap assignments with your friends You can also swap your assignment for a paper on the shortlist (see course web site) But you must finalise your choice within a week or so, and inform the course organisers

8 Preparing a paper presentation See Guidance Notes on the web Aim for about 15 minutes Main objective: lively interesting talk that promotes discussion Use Powerpoint or OpenOffice or Keynote Make an appointment with Herbert or Paul or Uli to review your slides

9 Presenting a paper - outline Objective what is the goal of this work, what problem is addressed, what was the current state of the art, who is the work aimed at? Proposal if this paper presents a new idea, what, in a nutshell, is it? Contributions/claims what contributions does the paper claim to make? Which one is the most significant? Evidence Support for claims - Theorems? Case studies? Simulations? Benchmarks? Does evidence address issues needed to support claims? Shoulders of giants... what previous research does this work build on? What are the key underlying theoretical ideas? Software infrastructure? Impact has this work been influential? When later research papers cite it, what contribution is being referred to? Discussion points End with questions which you think should arise

10 After presenting a paper You have two weeks in which to write it up into a review article Same structure/objectives as paper presentation But should also include issues/comments/conclusions which arise from the discussion

11 Writing your short review Target: half a page, maximum: one page Clearly-separated (use subheadings) sections covering Summary (as briefly as you can – two or three sentences) Evidence (what evidence is offered to support the claims?) Strengths (what positive basis is there for publishing/reading it?) Weaknesses Evaluation (if you were running the conference/journal where it was published, would you recommend acceptance?) Comments on the quality of the writing Plus: Queries for discussion

12 How to get high marks for the short review Format your submission Have a title Marking scheme: Summary Discussion – strengths, weaknesses Reflection – including evaluation Step back, present your own objective opinion Clarity – of what you have written Please put your name(s) on the review

13 Outcomes… 1.Find the best examples of research papers in theoretical computer science which have had impact – in whatever terms you think are important 2.Identify the most promising recent research papers, likely to find application in the future 3.Learn how best to present contributions in computer science, how to present evidence for claims made, and how to evaluate them critically 4.Choose a thesis topic which will change the world 5.Become a seasoned, critical, cynical reader of scientific literature


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