Project presentation

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You have been assigned a language and date on which to present an informal talk about it to your classmates. The talk should give your classmates a decent idea of the language's overall appearance as well as an overview of one or two innovative concepts present in the language. The presentation's length should be approximately 30 minutes or longer — certainly not shorter than 25 minutes, and up to 50 minutes is welcome.

By “informal,” I mean a demeanor similar to that of most professors. You should adopt a “conversational” but professional presentational style, with a main aim of trying to communicate with your audience. You should definitely not use a prepared script, though of course minimal notes are welcome. You should should probably not use slides heavily; use of a chalkboard is encouraged. You should be ready to answer questions from students (and me) during your presentation.

You are required to set up an individual appointment to discuss your plans for the talk. You should bring a typed outline of your talk breaking it into three to seven segments (content-free segments like “questions” do not count), as well as the code samples that you plan to present. Note that you should begin setting the appointment multiple days beforehand, to allow for some negotiation of what times we both might be available. The appointment must be several days before your presentation, but not more than a week beforehand.


The presentation is worth 70 points overall, divided as follows.

20 points Outline

You schedule your pre-presentation appointment in a timely fashion, and you arrive at the appointment on time. You shows strong evidence of good preparation for the discussion, including a well-developed outline.

25 points Content

Do you discuss worthwhile, academically interesting concepts? Do you provide enough detail? Do your responses to questions reveal reasonably thorough research? The prior appointment should be helpful in getting a strong score here. Note, however, that a “pass” on your outline does not guarantee success: I may not suggest any changes to your outline simply because the preparation is so weak as to make discussion pointless.

20 points Presentation style

Is your demeanor conducive to gaining others' interest? Are you successful in motivating students' interest in your topic? Can people understand what you are saying? Can students see and read any visual aids (including chalkboard)?

5 points Questions for other students

Any well-formulated questions you ask other students get you credit here in addition to the general participation grade. A novice presenter can find a dead class frustrating, and I want to give an additional incentive for you to help your classmates out, beyond your own good will and the possibility of test questions.

70 points TOTAL