UAF Graduate Seminar in Computer Science

One of the requirements for students completing a Master of Science in Computer Science degree is to prepare and present a master's project.  

Traditionally, students give three presentations about their project:

  1. The first presentation, essentially a project proposal, is typically given in the middle of the semester before graduation.  It describes the project topic, prior work on the topic, and the student's plan to complete the work.  This should cover both the technical approaches used, and the timeline for completing the work.  One typical question is "How do you know when you're done?", which is intended to help determine the scope of the work to be completed.  At this stage, faculty or other students often suggest related work or useful changes, like "Have you tried LibFOO for this?".
  2. The second presentation, more of a status update, is typically given either late in the semester before graduation, or early in the semester of graduation.  This presentation describes the preliminary results, any challenges encountered, and any changes to the timeline.  Often faculty or other students can help with explaining unexpected results, or suggesting alternative approaches.
  3. The third and final presentation is typically given at least a month before graduation.  It describes the project's final results, and is an opportunity for the committee to determine if anything else needs to be done for the project to be considered complete.  It's also a chance to reflect on what worked well, what might have worked better if done differently, and how the work might be extended in the future.

There is no fixed presentation length, although presentations exceeding 45 minutes probably won't leave time for questions and discussion; while presentations shorter than 20 minutes might not give enough detail for the committee and audience to understand the scope of the work.  All three presentations are typically given in the Tuesday seminar slot, CS 690/691.  We normally determine the presentation schedule at the first meeting of the semester.  

We recommend all graduate students attend these talks when possible, even if not signed up for CS 690/691, to see examples of projects and talks.

The seminar has been from 1-2pm Tuesday since at least the 1990's.  As of Spring 2016, we plan to schedule the graduate seminar from 2-3:30pm Tuesday, to see if we get fewer time conflicts.

See also: steps for a UAF MS in CS.