Talk guidelines

ENEE759C Spring 2007


The each talk will be presented in the 1 hr 15 min regular lecture time.  Out of this time, you should target 45 minutes for the talk.  If you go over time by more than 5 minutes, your grade will be penalized by 10% for every additional 5 minutes, so please make every effort to finish on time.  I will give time indications during the talk.  The remaining 30 minutes will be for questions from the audience and discussion.  The talk can be presented by either group member or the time can be shared by both -- this is up to you.  Both students should be available for questions.  Both students will receive the same grade for the talk unless one of the students is unable to answer questions properly and the other is.

You should have online slides to accompany your presentation.  Most people use Microsoft Powerpoint to prepare slides.

It is your responsibility to reserve a projector for your lecture.  You can reserve a projector from the ECE help desk in the A.V.Williams Building with a minimum of one week's notice.  Both group members should arrive at the lecture room at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the lecture with the projector.  You should be set up all the equipment beforehand so that your presentation can start on time!

[The above paragraph is now obsolete.  It turns out that the room has a built-in projector!  The first set of presenters will test whether it and the available desktop computer works a week before their seminar, and let us know.  You can bring your own laptop to connect to the projector as well (a VGA connector is available in the room.)]


The talk should present the material in the main paper. It may also briefly overview ideas from the additional reading papers, if any, but it certainly does not have to.  You will receive no extra credit for material in the additional papers, unless your main paper presentation is good and detailed.   Please aim to make your talk as intuitive as possible, so that listeners understand the key innovations in the work clearly.  It is far more important to convey the key insights and overall design rather than the details.  Your grade will not be penalized if details are missing, but it will be penalized if the key insights and overall design are missing.

I have seen in the past that the biggest reason that students do not receive a good grade is that they do not understand the technology that they are presenting thoroughly.  So please ensure that both group members thoroughly understand all the material!  I have seen many students fall apart during the question or presentation phase because of poor understanding.  In past courses this has happened in 60-70% of the presentations, mostly during questioning by me.  Please try to understand the material thoroughly, and have the group members cross-examine each other during preparation, to prevent this from happening during class.

One consequence of the above is that if you have a limited amount of time, you are better off spending that time really, really deeply understanding the material, rather than preparing pretty pictures in powerpoint.  Pretty pictures will not help if you understanding is lacking (although they may be a good addition if your understanding is good.)  

Some students mis-understand the requirement of deep understanding to mean that they must understand all the details of the technology.  This is not necessary.  What is far more important is to understand the answers to the following questions deeply:

Of course your talk cannot only answer the above questions.  In addition, it must also present some details!