Course Description

The seminar is an introduction to research in software engineering and programming languages, based on reading and presenting high quality research papers in the field.

  • Fall 2019 (with Peter Müller, Zhendong Su, Martin Vechev)
  • Fall 2017 (with Thomas Gross, Peter Müller, Martin Vechev)
  • Fall 2016 (with Thomas Gross, Peter Müller, Martin Vechev)

In the first lecture we will explain the rules, distribute the research papers, and then give a short a lecture on how to give good technical presentations. The next two times there will be no session. The remaining lectures will consist of two student presentations, each about one research paper that is assigned in the beginning of the course.

Goals of this Course

  • Learn how to read and understand a recent research paper in computer science
  • Learn how to present a technical topic in computer science to an audience of peers

Academic Integrity

Avoid copy-paste as much as possible. For material (especially graphics and anything included by copy-paste) not created by you but used in your presentation you have to provide an acknowledgment of the source on the same slide.

How it Works

  • In the beginning of the course every student will get a research paper and presentation date assigned (see schedule)
  • Understand the paper (motivation of the work, what they do, what the results are, what the limitations are)
    • study the paper carefully
    • obtain and study relevant background material such as other papers that are cited; you may need to include some of this background material in your presentation
  • Create a presentation
    • try to follow the guidelines given in the first lectures
    • main check list what the presentation should include:
      • clear motivation for the work
      • maybe briefly provide some necessary background
      • clear explanation what the paper does; this means using, as appropriate, examples, well-designed visuals, code examples
      • do not trivialize the content, go deeper where necessary
      • understandable (by your fellow students) presentation of the content and the results
      • do not try to cover everything in the paper, just the key parts; be ready to explain any technical term used
      • brief critical discussion in the end of the contribution: strong and weak parts including limitations
    • strive for high visual quality
      • acknowledge any external material (graphics, anything included by copy-paste from other sources) on the same slide (bottom right, small font, gray is usually a good way)
  • If possible try out the tool/code that comes with the paper
  • Have one meeting with your advisor at least a week before your presentation for clarifications and feedback. Bring a complete draft of the presentation.
  • Present at your assigned date
    • Presentations are 30 minutes + 15 minutes for questions
    • The presentation time will be enforced (as in the real world) but much too short is a negative