[iw] one more tip about the presentations

Vivek Pai vivek at CS.Princeton.EDU
Wed Feb 24 18:08:06 EST 2010

I said this in the IW kickoff, and I'll say it again for
emphasis. Your presentation should focus mostly on
your work going forward this semester. If you load
it up with 12 minutes of background work, I will
likely question you vigorously. Even if you did that
background work yourself over the summer, in a
dark cave, subsisting only on funyuns and diet coke,
it's still background work. Even if it's all original and
will win you a Nobel prize in 20 years, it's still
background work. What I want to see in the presentation
is how you will be (are) spending your time this semester.
A little background to place the work in context is fine.
If you give me 12 minutes of background work,  I will
seriously be annoyed. Even if you then have your advisor
write to me and say "but I thought 12 minutes of background
was a great idea, since I paid him/her only in funyuns and
diet coke for a summer's worth of work", I will still be

The point of this is that you're being evaluated on what
you do during a 12-week semester while you have a
regular courseload. This is so everyone has a level
playing field when it comes to grading. Don't fill up your
time with background work, yours or anyone else's.


P.S. Interesting statistic: 80% of you subscribed to the
listserv and followed directions, signing up for a presentation
timeslot during the week the sign-up sheets were available.
20% decided that deadlines don't apply to them, and it's a
good idea to have the IW coordinator waste the better part
of two days e-mailing them to get the schedule completed.
Guess which 20% are already off to a wonderful start on
their grade adjustment?

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