Option (B): Literature Survey and Tool Evaluation

The following is a more detailed description of the project timeline and requirements:

Now: Topic Selection

Start thinking about what kinds of projects interest you and with whom you might like to collaborate. I suggest taking a look at the course schedule and talking with other students about mutual areas of interest. You might also check out the list of suggested literature survey topics on the blackboard system. If you would like me to help you find a survey topic of your interests, please let me know.

1/27 Tuesday: Option and Group Selection (9:00 PM) 

Please send the course staffs an email regarding which option you will choose. If you choose to work in teams, please include the names and email addresses of all the people in your group, as well as one or two sentences describing possible topics that you might be interested in pursuing. Please remember that a literature survey cannot be done in team.

2/3 Tuesday: Literature Survey Proposal & Tool Evaluation Proposal (9:00 PM)

*Literature Survey*: A student must submit a two page proposal describing which topic you would like to survey about.  I expect to see sections on:
The student should select a number of papers that contain ideas that are distinct from each other, but are related in some way. The papers should be research papers and not survey papers. Uplaod the proposal to the blackboard system.

*Tool Evaluation*: Each group should submit a short proposal about which software engineering tool you would like to evaluate. A proposal must include a sketch of your evaluation approach. 

3/13 Friday: Tool Evaluation Report Due (9:00 PM)

Each group should submit a tool evaluation report (max 10 pages) to the blackboard system. Everyone should also submit a short summary of their contributions to the tool evaluation project (not required for groups of size 1). This should be at most a page long and can reference the final report.

4/21 Tuesday: Literature Survey Draft Due (9:00 PM)

Each student should submit a draft of their written literature survey. The formatting of the draft report should match that of a final report. (See below for what a final report should look like.) The draft should be uploaded to the blackboard system.

It's OK if you haven't completed your research by now. See the next bullet for why you're turning in a draft two weeks before the final report is due. Your draft should clearly specify what you plan to do over the next two weeks.

4/28 Tuesday: Peer Reviews Due (9:00 PM)

We will distribute your literature survey draft to other students in the class, with the goal of simulating a mini program committee review process. This means you will also get comments from your peers. Consequently, you will all have the opportunity to read and review drafts from other groups. This process can be very educational unto itself, much akin to a miniature "program committee meeting."

You will be expected to read the draft reports that I give you (at most three) and write detailed reviews of those papers. You are to upload those reviews to the blackboard system by the above-specified deadline. The reviews you write should be anonymous (i.e., not include your name or other identifying information).

I will then collect those reviews and send them to the authors of the relevant reports. There are several reasons we're doing this, but the main goals are to (1) help you (as reviewers) gain more experience in evaluating in-progress (as opposed to completed) research and (2) help everyone improve the quality of their final written report.

5/3 Sunday: Final Report and Electronic Presentation Due (9 PM)
Each student will submit a written literature survey  (max 10 pages), as well as a slide deck, to the blackboard system. Please submit the report and the slide deck as separate PDF files. You may include an appendix beyond 10 pages, but your paper must be intelligible without it. Submissions not in the ACM format will not be reviewed (this is to model program committees for conferences and workshops, which have the option to automatically reject papers if they do not comply with the submission guidelines).

Your report should be structured like a conference paper, meaning that your report should contain an abstract, a well-motivated introduction, a discussion of related work (with citations), evaluation of surveyed research, a discussion, open problems and so on.

The written report should reflect the critical reading of the papers. It will present not only the material extracted from the papers but also your assessment of it. An ideal report would include, in roughly equal measure:

5/4-5/6: Presentations (3:30 PM)

Each student will give a short presentation of their literature survey work.  I anticipate that each presentation will be 10 minutes.