Post Condition: After successfully completing this course, a student’s should have
· Improved ability to read and understand research papers, and search for them
· Improved ability to write short technical reports
· Improved ability to make effectively presentations on technical topics
In addition, the student will also:
· Develop some expertise in one technical/research topic
· Become better informed about new systems, software, gadgets, emerging trends, and some research areas.
The course has two parts – first part will focus on understanding and communicating a technical idea, second part will be around evaluating a software/system/gadget or a future trends/technologies.
1. Technical Communication. For this part, students in groups of two, will select some technical topic and then read important research papers on this topic. They will then write a short technical report on that topic, and make a presentation on it. The technical reports as well as presentations will be evaluated by students also – as critically evaluating a report or a presentation is in itself a tool for improving technical presentation skills.
2. Evaluating and writing a review of a new software, system, gadget,…or on an emerging or future technology/trend. In this part, students in groups of two will evaluate some new software, system, gadget, etc. of their choice, and write a short review for the technically knowledgeable user/consumer. Short presentations will be made on this, much like the reviewer does, for example, in Cell/Gadget Guru TV show (Best reviews may be posted on IIIT-Delhi’s site, and may be included in the newsletter. ) Alternatively, groups can select an emerging technology or a future technology and write a short report and make a short presentation on the technology and its forecasts.
For the first part, there will be a few lectures on what good communication is (both written and presentation) – how a well written paper is organized and how to organize a good presentation. Some lectures may be held on writing style. Some example paper may be taken that will be read and discussed in class for writing style. Presentation on these papers will also be discussed.
For the second part, there may be a couple of introductory lectures, and for topic assignment and coordination. Students will be provided with some published guidelines/frameworks for their reports and presentations on these.
Rest of the lecture slots will be used for presentations by students and groups, and evaluation by the listeners.
Students in this course will be required to attend the seminars in the Institute (at least 5 in the semester) – attendance to these will also carry marks.
· Evaluation of written technical reports for part 1 will be done like for conferences – two/three students evaluate each report plus a faculty member. We will use the tool being developed for this, or some conference management tool. The evaluation of faculty will carry 50% marks and the evaluation by the students will carry the balance 50% marks.
· The instructor/TA will see all the reviews of a student, and assign marks to the reviews.
· Presentations will be organized in conference format but shorter. All groups will be required to have practiced their presentation at least once before the class presentation, and they will have to tape the practice presentation and show it as evidence. Feedback from students will also be taken on the presentation (hopefully using the SMS based feedback system being developed).
· Attending seminars – each time a student attends a seminar, after the seminar he/she will get any faculty member attending the seminar to sign in some copy/register/paper the student maintains, giving the name and date of the seminar, the presenter, etc., which becomes a record that the student had attended the seminar. In the end, the student will show these records to the TA to get the marks for seminar attendance.
Some Guidelines for Reports and Presentations
· Students are encouraged to use LaTex – students will have to learn LaTex on their own (the TA can arrange some sessions, if desired).
· The main report for Part I will have to be focused and brief (4 pages). If a student desires to explain the details of some concept/algorithm/technique, he/she may add appendices.
· Students are required to follow the following process: Fully complete the report and save it. Then carefully revise it and make changes while auto recording the changes done (through track changes). Keep repeating till satisfied. They will submit the final version, and will have to show / submit the earlier version also.
· Review report for a gadget/software/technology trend should be two (to four) pages.
· Proper styles of referencing, citing, etc will have to be followed respecting the copyright principles.
· Some notes on technical writing and presentation will be provided – some other resources will be made available on technical presentations.
· For selecting topics and papers for the first part, a list of topics will be provided. Students can choose their own topics as well – they will have to get it approved by the instructor. It is expected that for each topic, at least a few papers/reports or books will have to read.
· For part II, some frameworks/guidelines may be provided. Actual products/trends etc students will have to identify themselves.