- Independent Work & Theses | Computer Science Department at Princeton University
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- Guidelines and Useful Information
All students who plan to do independent work for the first time are strongly encouraged to sign up for an IW seminar. Specifically, this includes all A. Though the seminars are targeted at first-time independent work students, they are open to any Computer Science major who is not working on a senior thesis. The content of the IW seminars include not only independent work on a project, but also guidance about how to choose projects, evaluate progress, design experiments, collaborate with others, make presentations, and other project management skills.
Think of it like a miniature, informal presentation. You don't have to have such a spiel memorized. In fact, it is often better not to because it will seem more natural. However, it is useful to think about and practice what you might say. Therefore, each poster should be created in such a way that best helps you explain the intellectual content, importance, creativity, and overall "coolness" of your IW project to a faculty member or student working outside your area of research.
Like a good research talk, you should start any conversation with a faculty member with a high-level explanation of the basic problem you are solving and why it is important. Once the faculty member understands the problem, you should move on to explaining the most interesting elements of your solution to the problem. After explaining the basics of the solution you can move on to discussing any experiments or proofs you have done to evaluate or validate your ideas.
Independent Work & Theses | Computer Science Department at Princeton University
Do not be afraid to explain negative results in which experiments showed that your ideas did not necessarily pan out as you thought they might. Sharing negative results is a part of good science. Remember that like in a good talk, pictures, graphs, and charts are often worth words. Also remember that like a good talk, a poster presentation must be practiced in order to be effective. Give practice presentations to your advisor and your friends. Have your friends try to think of difficult questions for you to answer in the middle of your presentation so you are prepared.
You should be ready to give a 2 minute presentation, a 5 minute presentation or a 15 minute presentation to a faculty member who walks by. Note, if I try to visit 50 poster presentations in 2 hours, you have a maximum of just 2 minutes with me. Give me a punchy 2minute spiel on why your work is great.
Other faculty will only visit a subset of the posters and will spend more time with each presenter.
However, you do not need to emulate the style; it is just one example. This example may have too words on it and it might be even better if there were more pictures or graphs.
Note that demoing your software does not replace the need for you to create a poster. If you need power, or want to do some kind of more elaborate set up of devices, you should check with David Walker and Donna O'Leary to get their opinion as to whether it will work Space is the main constraint during the poster session. We will do what we can to make your ideas work. However, we do need some advance warning.
Guidelines and Useful Information
If you have creative ideas, please consult with us via email prior to the demo scheduling deadline the important dates page. Printing posters. No excuses about being unable to create a poster on time will be accepted. It is your responsible to figure how to do it and get it done on time. Here are some options for creating posters:. The faculty also reserves the right to give other awards or not give them as they see fit! Additional Computer Science Department faculty may read student final reports and help assess presentations and posters. Every thesis writer must have both an adviser and a second reader.
If your adviser is a faculty member who is not in the Computer Science Department then your second reader must be a faculty member in the Computer Science Department. Thesis writers must return a signed second reader form to Donna O'Leary by the second reader deadline, in mid February.
Students doing 2-semester IW or a Thesis must write a February paper.
This paper should be pages long single-spaced. This is not expected to be an onerous task, but it should give you some practice with technical writing. To get credit for your midpoint paper you must do 3 things by the deadline the Friday at the end of first week of classes of the spring semester -- see important dates page : 1. You must e-mail dpw cs. You may write your paper and return the form, signed by your advisor, earlier if you want to -- any time in January is fine, for instance. Do not wait until the deadline to write the paper -- if you do, you will not have time to arrange a meeting with your advisor, get them to read the paper, sign the form and return it to Donna.
Neither Donna nor the independent work coordinator will have any pity on you if you tell them you were unable to schedule an appointment with your advisor just before the deadline.
Plan in advance and schedule the appointment well in advance, not at the deadline. You should discuss the exact requirements for the paper with your advisor. The paper could contain one or more of the following components: Background information and problem description. What is the general area of research and the specific problem that will be tackled?
Related research. Have there been previous academic papers on this or related topics? Are there companies that have developed related software products? What is the historical context? Be sure to cite related research properly.
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Include a bibliography at the end of your paper. Progress so far. Be as precise as possible. What papers have you read? What are they about? Give examples, charts, diagrams and proofs to back up your ideas wherever possible and appropriate. What new algorithms have you defined? Have you defined your overall software architecture?
Do you intend to prove something about your research? Have you proven any intermediate theorems or lemmas? State what they are and explain the proof. Plan for the spring semester. Outline the steps you will take to complete your thesis. Explain how you will evaluate your results. Include a table with a concrete set of deadlines for finishing major components of the project.
Include at least 3 weeks for writing. You will be assessed based on both your progress so far and the quality of the write-up. If you do a good job on writing your paper, you can reuse this material as a chapter of your final thesis.