This is a "bottom line" rubric; the most important aspect of the
presentation is making sure your classmates get 25 minutes of value
out of your talk. Other than the quality of the results, this is how
you would be implicitly graded if you were to give a talk at a
conference or at CS theory lunch.
There are three things we will be watching for:
• Speaking clearly, slowly, and loudly enough for people to easily
understand the words that you are saying. (Tip: it is better to say
fewer things slower than to cram material at the risk of no one
• Making sure the overall structure of the presentation is clear
enough for someone to "get back on the train" if they accidentally
doze off for a bit. (Tip: remind people where you are in the structure
at every transition.)
Answering the Basic Questions
By the end of the talk, the audience (your fellow students) should at
minimum be able to answer the following questions:
You can assume everyone looked at the paper, but don't assume everyone
managed to get correct answers to the questions above.
- What problem is the paper trying to solve?
- Why is the problem interesting?
- What is the primary contribution?
At some point in the presentatation, you should also answer
This can come at the end, or somewhere in the middle.
Finally, you should answer
- What are the key takeaways?
as much as is possible in the time that you have.
- How did they do it?
See how to read a paper for a full explanation.
Is your understanding of 1-5 correct. If you are having
trouble understanding the paper, feel free to talk to the TA (Monday
after class, or by appt).
• Bring a video recording device if you'd like, to the practice talk and/or to the final presentation. Watching yourself give a talk can be
a surprising and motivating experience if you've never done it before.
• You will be graded on absolute quality, not on the improvement
between your practice talk and your final talk. So if you give a great
practice talk it is completely acceptable to give the same talk again.