This is your opportunity to do an independent study of an existing
topic with the help of your guide.
As part of the seminar you are also required to do an independent
writing and presentation about the topic that you explore. It can be
edited: march 2014
- Doing a seminar
- Pick up your topic and try to understand it as much as
- While developing this understanding about your chosen topic,
you need to find appropriate literature to read, i.e. existing papers,
books, book chapters, thesis etc. The no. of references that you read
is not that important. Converge on coverage by discussing the
possibilities with your guide. It could be just one book, or a few
papers, or a book and a few papers etc. In some cases, the topic may
require that you do some implementation to assist your understanding
about the topic.
- Discuss with your guide about concepts that you read, about
concepts that you understand and those that you do not.
- At the end of the seminar, you should have the
satisfaction of having learnt something new with some depth.
- Writing a seminar report
- You have obviously read a lot; so what to write, how, and
how much, is the question.
- We of course have the original literature with us.. so a copy
of that is not what we want in the report.
- We want to read in your own words the understanding that you
have developed about
- You would have obviously read a lot, but how do you make a
story about it? If you are writing about programming languages, you may
make your chapters as 'procedural programming', 'object oriented
programming', 'logic programming' etc., or you may conceive them as
'paradigms', 'data types', 'control abstractions', 'storage
abstractions'.. etc. These two themes give you your personal schema
about presenting the same material. So you need to think: how are you
going to put things together? Paper by paper is a very obvious
organization which you may discard if you find a better scheme.
- Try writing your chapters fully from your memory. This will
prevent copy-and-paste problems.
- Try to create your own examples and use them to discuss the
ideas that you want to write about.
- Do not add a sentence that you cannot explain. See every
sentence as a commitment that you are making.
- Think of good figures/pictures to represent the ideas that you
want to explain.
- Respect copyrights.
- Your report has an abstract, an introduction, core chapters, a
summary or conclusion, and a list of references.
- Follow a standard style for list of references. Each reference
should be complete with information about author,article title, where
it appeared, when, page nos. etc.
- Print back to back. No need to use thick plastic covers. Save
paper and plastic.
- Presenting your seminar
- you have about 20 minutes to present. So don't have 200 slides!
- Don't start with deep technical details straight in without
explaining their need, the motivations, the background.
Make a graceful entry into the inner core of your
presentation, and also have a graceful exit from it through final few
- Motivate your problem with an example
- Create examples of your own.
- Don't clutter too much material on a slide
- Use figures, pictures
- Don't simply read out what's there on the slides-- develop the
theme through your talk
- When a question is asked, listen to it carefully, understand
the question and then answer.
- Never omit important material.
- Do not add something that you cannot explain.
- Add a conclusion slide, and also a slide on scope for future work.