The final exam consists of a presentation followed by a question and answer (Q/A) session.

Please plan and organize as a team for the final presentation. The material you must cover in your presentation is described below. The level of the talk should be appropriate for a technical-savvy audience. If it helps you to formulate an audience profile, you may imagine you are presenting your software project at a conference or trade show.

You have a total of 30 minutes. Plan for exactly 12 minutes of presentation (or 16 minutes if you are a team of four students) and 18 minutes of Q/A. For your presentation, you will have a one-minute grace period. Presentations that are too short or too long will be penalized. Make sure all team members participate equally in the presentation and in the Q/A. While we will enforce the latter, it is your responsibility to enforce the former. We require that all team members participate equally in the presentation. You will be evaluated based on the following guidelines. A set of sample questions to expect for the Q/A are also included below.

The basis of your presentation should be the storage server implemented according to Milestone 4. You won't have to demonstrate your software, but you will be expected to provide a detailed and technical discussion of the project. In your presentation, you must draw on performance results and experimental data gathered for Milestone 4. If you do not have Milestone 4 working, use Milestone 2. Presenting Milestone 2, however, will result in a mark reduction. Presenting Milestone 4 results in a convincing manner, including a detailed analysis of the data gathered, will result in the highest mark.

Please arrive a few minutes early to your scheduled marking slot and wait outside the exam room where an usher TA will be attending to you:

  • For BA-Bxxx rooms: the ushers will wait for you downstairs in the hall and bench area.
  • For BA-12xx rooms: the ushers will wait for you in the hallway facing the elevators, next to the cafeteria. Do NOT use the recessed entrances from the main hallway (that area will be sealed off).
  • For BA-11xx rooms: the ushers wait for you in the bench area of the main hallway on the ground floor, in front of the rooms.

Should you arrive late for your marking slot, you may have to wait until the last group has been marked to not impact the marking slots of other groups.


The exam is structured as follows:

  • 12 minutes for the presentation (for teams of two students the time limit is the same, and for teams of four students the time limit is 16 minutes). See the outline below for what we expect you to follow.
  • 18 minutes for questions and answers
    • You will be asked about your presentation
    • You will be asked standard questions (see samples below)

TA and CI marking rubrics are available to help you plan for the final presentation. Your team needs to bring 2 hard copies of the TA rubric, hard copy of the CI rubric, and copies of the attribution table. All these forms must be properly filled-in in advance.


Your presentation should discuss the following, but not necessarily in the order below:

  • One feasible use case scenario describing an application of your storage server.
  • One non-trivial design decision in detail, presenting technical details, highlighting pros and cons, and relating the decision to the necessities of your use case.
  • Performance results and analysis of your storage server based on the experiments you conducted in Milestone 4. If Milestone 4 is not working, use Milestone 2, but you will incur a penalty for using Milestone 2.

You must hand in your presentation outline. To begin the presentation, your team should provide a short agenda for the presentation and a brief overview of your system. The presentation must have a central point as an overall organizing factor. This may be the use case scenario, situated in the context of a real-world application, or it may be a major design challenge or decision. The choice of central idea is up to the individual team. Your presentation should also have a clear take-away message.

Your presentation must be extemporaneous-prepared. You may refer to a 3"x5" index card, but avoid reading from your card or delivering delivering your presentation as though it were a pre-written speech. You want to develop a rapport with the audience and speak in a way that seems spontaneous and natural but is also well organized. This is the standard for engineering talks.

Your presentation must use PowerPoint or similar presentation software. 

Question and Answer

The 18 minute question and answer session will touch on a variety of topics, including the project requirements, your design decisions, your experiences implementing and evaluating the project, the software tools you used, and material from tutorials and lectures. Some questions will be addressed to individuals in your team based on your attribution-table For teams of two, the question and answer session will last 12 minutes, and for teams of four, the question and answer period will last 24 minutes. Some sample questions are listed below.

Your answers should be precise and concise. You are evaluated on the presentation, the conciseness, and the correctness of your answers.

Each member of the team will be questioned for six minutes and will be asked five questions, two by each TA and one by the CI. The final mark will total the marks for all questions. Questioners will not prompt students. They will be restricted to asking or repeating questions. No clues will be given, nor will there be any indication that a question was answered correctly or incorrectly.

Here are some of the questions you may be asked:

  • Why are you asked not to modify the storage.h file?
  • What is the difference between the client library and client application?
  • What is the purpose of Check and what did you use it for?
  • For today's presentation, what was your team's take-away statement, and why did your team choose it?
  • How can a C program in Linux create a new thread?
  • Describe two techniques to improve sentences. What are they and how do they work?
  • What is the purpose of transactions?
  • If you could go back to Milestone 2 knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

Presentation slots

Please arrive at the assigned room at least 10 minutes before your assigned time slot. All your team members must be available for the presentation.

Remember to bring the following items to the presentation:

  • Your presentation slides on a laptop
  • Your presentation slides on a USB key
  • Your presentation outline
  • Two printouts of the attribution table completed in advance
  • Two printouts of the TA's final exam rubric and one printout of the CI's final exam rubric with team id, team member names, and UTORid's filled-in in advance
  • Three printouts of your presentation handouts (6 slides per page) in case of projector breakdown
  • Communication Instructor course evaluations in a sealed envelope

BA-1200 BA-1210 BA-1220 BA-1230 BA-1240 BA-1170 BA-1180 BA-1190 BA-B024 BA-B025 BA-B026
09:00 - 09:45 cd-091 cd-092 cd-093 cd-094 cd-095 cd-096 cd-097 cd-098 cd-099 cd-100 -
09:45 - 09:55 Short Break
09:55 - 10:30 cd-001 cd-002 cd-003 cd-004 cd-005 cd-006 cd-007 cd-008 cd-009 cd-102 cd-103
10:30 - 11:05 cd-010 cd-011 cd-012 cd-013 cd-014 cd-015 cd-016 cd-017 cd-018 cd-104 cd-105
11:05 - 11:40 cd-019 cd-020 cd-021 cd-022 cd-023 cd-024 cd-025 cd-026 cd-027 cd-106 cd-107
11:40 - 12:15 cd-028 cd-029 cd-030 cd-031 cd-032 cd-033 cd-034 cd-035 cd-036 cd-108 cd-109
12:15 - 12:50 cd-037  cd-38 cd-039 cd-040 cd-041 cd-042 cd-043 cd-044 cd-045 cd-110 cd-111
12:50 - 13:50 Lunch
14:00 - 14:35 cd-046 cd-047 cd-048 cd-049 cd-050 cd-051 cd-052 cd-053 cd-054 cd-112 cd-113
14:35 - 15:10 cd-055 cd-056 cd-057 cd-058 cd-059 cd-060 cd-061 cd-062 cd-063 cd-089 cd-115
15:10 - 15:45 cd-064 cd-065 cd-066 cd-067 cd-068 cd-069 cd-070 cd-071 cd-072 cd-116 cd-118
15:45 - 16:20 cd-073 cd-074 cd-075 cd-076 cd-077 cd-078 cd-079 cd-080 cd-081 cd-119 cd-090
16:20 - 16:55 cd-082 cd-083 cd-084 cd-085 cd-86 cd-087 cd-088 cd-114 - - cd-101
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