Mini Reasearch Exam

The mini reseach-exam is intended to help students develop strong research skills, and to provide practice to Ph.D. students in the process and protocols of the research exam. A student is given a small set of papers, and possibly a short prompt. The student is expected to identify additional papers in the literature relevant to the research in the original list, and asked for a written and oral presentation of a critical review of the papers. The student is evaluated on five criteria:

  • Is the student able to find relevant literature and acquire depth of knowledge in a given research area?
  • In the given research area, does the student show deep insight and perform a critical analysis?
  • Does the student have the breadth of knowledge to perform research and the ability to acquire new knowledge independently?
  • What is the quality of the writing of the report, compared to a typical paper at a peer-reviewed conference in the given research area?
  • What is the student’s ability to present research and communicate technical ideas orally?
The mini research-exam in this class has the dsame goals, but differs from the CS department's (see the exam guidelines) in the following ways:
  • There is no committee, just the instructor.
  • A full research exam involves five seed papers. For the mini research exam you will be using three seed papers. One of them will be a paper from those we have read in the class and you will identify two related papers that we are not reading in the class. You do not have to collect more than the three papers.
  • For the mini research exam a paragraph proposing the mini research exam topic and the list of three papers is due October 8th.
  • The mini research exam writeup is due the week before the presentations and should between 2000 and 5000 words, not including the bibliography.
  • The mini research exam talk will be 15-20 minutes. The maximum number of slides permitted will be 10.
  • You must set up a practice presentation with the Sanjay at least two days before the actual mini research exam.