CS 348C Project Presentation
CS 348C - Modeling in Computer
Fall quarter, 1995
Coordinator: Apostolos Lerios
The project presentation is a public 25 minute exposition of a student
project, summarizing the project goal, simulation method and results,
lessons learned and problems encountered. It is followed by a 5 minute
question and answer session.
The following is the suggested format of a project
presentation. Students may deviate from this outline in terms of
structure and timing, but not basic content, as their individual
projects demand. For example, the presentation parts below might be
interspersed in time, in order to
- motivate audience interest, e.g. by showing real world footage of a
natural phenomenon early on,
- maintain audience interest, which wanes if a technical discussion
lasts too long, e.g. by showing simulation results during the
presentation of the simulation method, or
- elucidate a complex simulation method, again by showing
simulation results early on.
Introduction, or What and Why? (2 minutes)
The students state the project area and concrete goal. In this part of
the presentation, the speakers excite the audience, so that it will
attentively listen to the next part.
Simulation method, or How? (12 minutes)
The students discuss the work they did for the project. This may be
done in the form of a detailed timeline, covering initial
brainstorming, successes, failures, lessons learned, and final
approach. Depending on the project, the following issues are addressed
during this part:
This part is not overly technical. While a fundamental equation or two
may be presented, details such as the data structures used in the
implementation are not covered (unless the concrete goal of the
project is the design of such data structures in order to improve
- What is the fundamental simulation method, e.g. a particle
system, a finite-element method?
- Which aspects of the natural phenomenon does the model reproduce
reliably? In what ways does the model reflect the real phenomenon,
e.g. which forces are taken into account during a simulation?
- What are the limitations of the model, e.g. which forces does it
- What parameters does the model require the user to provide? How
intuitive are they?
- In what steps does the simulation proceed, e.g. what happens at
each time step of a particle system simulation?
- How long does it take to run the model on average data sets? On
what hardware? Does the implementation contain any algorithmic
optimizations, e.g. are bounding boxes used to optimize collision
Results, or Ta daa! (10 minutes)
The students present the final results of their project. The format of
this part depends on the project and may comprise any of the
It is important to acknowledge any commercial software used to
generate images and animations, as well as libraries used in the
implementation (e.g. Open Inventor
for the GUI or Numerical Recipes in C for the computational
- Animations showing the results of simulations. While students may
composite the results of their simulations on top of hand-animated or
filmed imagery, they carefully distinguish the two elements: to this
end, two animations are presented, one with and one without composited
elements. Animations are transferred on VHS videotape using the Abekas
system in the CIS laboratory; MPEG
animation are low quality and too small to be comfortably viewed by a
- Filmed video footage of the natural phenomenon, possibly borrowed
from Stanford's large
collection of videotapes.
- A collection of still images, showing the results of
simulations. Still images, like animations, may be transferred on VHS
videotape for easier viewing.
- A live demonstration of the simulator's GUI, which allows the
user to interactively experiment with the model's parameters. The Lyon
Lamb video scan converter system in the CIS
laboratory may be used to generate record demo sessions on
Acknowledgments, or Thank you! (1 minute)
The students list the individuals or organizations who helped them
significantly in their projects. For example, the students may mention
organizations who provided computing equipment or data sets, or
authors of relevant papers who took the time to provide insights,
suggestions, or clarifications on their research.
Questions and answers, or Huh? (5 minutes)
The students take questions from the audience. Students should be
prepared to address critical remarks on their models, and justify
their decisions. As some members of the audience will have a lot of
experience with related work, possibly even published work in the area
themselves, students should be courteous in their criticisms of past
work, and freely admit ignorance when appropriate.
The project presentations are open to the general public, and are
sufficiently well advertised that a significant number of potential
employers, potential research advisors, and fellow students will
attend. Although the audience understands that students have pulled
all-nighters the night before the presentations, they expect a
well-planned talk. The following equipment is available to the
students during their presentations, in order to facilitate and
encourage high-quality presentations:
- Overhead transparency projector and screen.
- VHS VCR and TV.
- SGI Indigo workstations.
Last update: 13 December 1995 by Apostolos "Toli" Lerios