2015 Research Presentation

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You have been assigned to a team of 3 or 4 people. Each team is responsible for two 30 minute presentations. I expect the presentations will expand to 40 minutes with questions from the audience. Your presentation will be assessed by your peers in the class.

What you should do

  • Meet with your team as soon as possible.
  • Appoint a leader for your team. This leader will be responsible for communications with the instructor.
  • Choose the papers you want to cover. Select at MOST 3 papers. It is not feasible to cover more than 3 papers in a 30 minute talk.
  • Check the paper list with the instructor.
  • Once paper list is settled:
    • Send prof 3 citations
    • Send prof links to pdfs of papers
    • Select ONE PRIMARY paper that the class should read
  • Decide which computer will be used for the presentation, and test it in the classroom. There is a VGA connection and a headphone jack connection.
  • Create two easy multiple choice questions from that paper and send them to the instructor.

What should the presentation be like?

The presentation should be entertaining and informative. Present the paper as an advocate of the paper. Videos are good, props are good, singing is good, running around is good, asking the audience questions is good. Here's an outline you can use for typical research papers, but variations are OK. This organization may not work as well for biology papers.

Example Outline

  • Example presentation: Media:Example-presentation.pptx
  • Title, authors, date of publication
  • Describe concisely, the problem the authors are trying to solve.
    • Is this specific problem different in any way from problems that other related papers are trying to solve?
  • What is the key insight or idea offered by the paper for solving this problem?
  • Describe the algorithm or idea in detail
  • Describe experimental methodology
  • Describe the results of the experiments
  • What are the strengths of the work?
  • What are the weaknesses? Where does it fail?


Advice on how to present a paper by Ashwin Ram: [1]


The class will review the quality of the presentations based on the following rubric:

  • Did every team member contribute equally?
  • Was the problem described clearly?
  • In the end, do you feel like you understand the key ideas of the papers?
  • Were strengths and weaknesses of the approach explained clearly?
  • Extra points for entertainment or effectiveness?