You should be prepared to lead a discussion on the following general questions:
What problem did the paper address?
Is it important/interesting?
What is the approach used to solve the problem?
What are the conclusions of the paper?
How does the paper support or otherwise justify the conclusions it reached?
You should prepare a presentation or a short summary handout in advance. If you prepare a talk, aim for 6-10 slides. Some pointers on slide presentations:
Avoid too much information on one slide. Break into digestible chunks.
Don't use too many words on a slide.
If you use graphs, always label your axes.
Use large enough fonts.
Have an introduction, body, a summary.
Some pointers on giving talks:
Face the audience, not the screen, and make eye contact with your audience.
Don't just read the words on your slide (assume your audience can).
Use gestures for emphasis, but avoid nervous gestures.
Speak with confidence, in a loud enough voice, with clear enunciation.
Practice aloud in advance.
Above all, enjoy your talk!
You can consult other papers that might be interesting to use as
background or for contrast, if you wish, but this isn't required.
You should aim for a total of 20 minutes, perhaps 15 minutes being
your presentation and leading discussion, with 5 minutes for class
participation. You should not assume that class members have read the
paper in detail. You can also pick out relevant important sections of
each paper with regard to the above that could be referred to during
Taking Part in Class Discussions
Everyone should be reading the papers assigned
for that day in advance. You are not expected to understand the
details of the papers, but are expected to try to get a good overall
sense of each paper. While you are reading each paper, you should
develop at least one question or point relevant for discussion of the
Writing Weekly Reviews of Papers
Each week, you will write a short review about one aspect of one paper
assigned that week. (You needn't write a review the week you present
your paper.) You should pick a topic that intrigued you or made you
think, and that can be discussed in class when we discuss the
paper. It should be at most 1 page in length. Possible topics are as
follows, but feel free to choose others.
Was the paper, in your estimation, successful in what it attempted?
Why or Why not?
What did you learn from the paper?
Is there interesting future work, or are there new ideas suggested by the paper for solving this problem, or others?