CSE 291: Seminar on Vision & Learning

Project Guidelines

If you are taking 291 for four units of credit, you must do a project in addition to giving one or two presentations.  The project should be at the frontier of current research, but need not necessarily move the frontier forward.  Replicating the results of an innovative recent paper would be a good project, for example.  Projects must be closely inspired by one or two specific recent high quality papers.  They should preferably have an experimental component, but "crass empiricism" is to be avoided.  As much as possible, you should use a high-level programming environment such as Matlab. The schedule for the projects is as follows.  After each deadline, the instructor will be available to discuss the projects in person.  You should take the initiative to set up an appointment, preferably on a Tuesday or Thursday.

(1) On Wednesday October 17 at 6pm or earlier, you should hand in a project proposal.  This should explain explicitly and clearly what you will do.  In particular, the proposal should include:

The proposal should be written in well-organized continuous English, as opposed to just an outline.  Most of its text should be reusable in your final report.  In organization, proposals may resemble the project descriptions for CSE 250A, 250B, or 254.

(2) On Friday October 19 at 6pm or earlier, please hand in a revised project proposal.  This must follow all the instructions above, and take into account comments received from the instructor and other sources.  It should be two to four pages long when formatted following the NIPS*2001 instructions or one to two pages long using the CVPR 2001 instructions. Since you will have to use LaTeX eventually, you should start now with the revised proposal.  In the first phase of the project, some important tasks include:

These are tasks that can and should be performed mostly in parallel, not sequentially.

(3) On Tuesday November 20 at 6pm or earlier, you should hand in a complete, polished draft of your project report.  The report should resemble as closely as possible a good submission for a computer vision or pattern recognition conference.  You should follow either the NIPS*2001 or the CVPR 2001 formatting instructions and the 250A report guidelines.

(4) On Monday December 3 at 2pm or earlier, you should submit the final version of your project report in both hardcopy and pdf format (by e-mail). This will be graded following the 250A grading criteria.  Perfect academic honesty is required.  The final version of your report should be a PDF file in NIPS format that is under one megabyte.  Avoid these common formatting mistakes.  To maximize the readability of your paper, and to minimize the size of the PDF file, make sure that you use only standard Postscript fonts.  Use the command \usepackage{pslatex} in LaTeX to achieve this.  Also provide an ascii abstract of your report that follows these guidelines and is 150 to 200 words long.

While doing the project, remember that winning at research is similar to winning in many other fields of endeavor.
  • Build on an idea that has been successful in previous work.
  • Make the description of your work understandable, attractive, and memorable; pick catchy names.
  • Keep the work simple.  Let the basic ideas shine through.
  • More papers = more ways to have impact and be noticed.
It Takes Soup And a Dream     (Newsweek, March 26, 2001, page 8.)

Susan Runkle isn't just M'm! M'm! Good! She's the M'm! M'm! Best! Her Polynesian pork chops have been named a new Campbell's classic, an honor worth $20,000. Peri asked Runkle to dish on how to win a cooking contest:

  • 1. Polynesian pork doesn't just happen. Work backward by building on a taste you enjoy. (Runkle started with the tangy pork-pineapple combo.)
  • 2. Pick a catchy name. "Use alliteration: red raspberry... something."
  • 3. Keep it simple. Skip recipes "six pages long with chipotle chiles."

  • 4. More recipes = more ways to win. "I sent in a pasta dish, a beef casserole--I call it pepper-pot beef--a Tuscan chicken, a Mexican pizza and a chicken potpie.  Husband's not too keen on fish."

Most recently updated on Oct. 31, 2001 by Serge Belongie. Content adapted from Charles Elkan's CSE 254 Project Guidelines.