Monday, July 17, 2006

Day 1 Notes (Doctoral Consortium)

On the first day of AAAI I started at 7 AM from Boston University residence hall and the ride on the (T) was smooth. It took me a while to figure out the registration desk's location (which was in the World Trade Center lobby).

The Doctoral Consortium was in a mid-size room isolated to the end of a long corridor on the Mezzanine level. The room was not quite arranged the way Kiri and Terrane had asked for but the round tables arrangement worked out fine in the end. Kiri started the proceedings with the purpose of the DC and other administrative comments and we quickly went into student presentations. All the presenters recieved a lot of feedback not just from their mentors but also from the rest of the audience.

There were some general comments on the presentation and writing style that I noted down (Please feel free to improve/correct these in the comments) :

1. Try to be interactive and look at the audience and not at the slides during your talk.
2. Keep an eye on the session chair for important time limit signals
3. Be concise
4. Mark out important slides and be sure to get to them even if you have to skip some of the other slides for lack of time.
5. Try to give around a minute per slide and try to limit your number of slides to your time limit (this varies with your talking manner)
6. USE FIGURES, CHARTS AND TABLES.
7. Motivate your problem and give a brief but compelling example of why your work is needed to grab the audience's attention.
8. Try to avoid puttng complicated or long mathematical equations on the slides especially when you don't have time to define all the terms in the equation.
9. Make a clear distinction between related work and your contributions.
10. Spell out your contributions at the beginning to make sure that the audience's expectations are not set too high/low.

I'll cover dinner (which was very good btw), panels on day 2 and more comments in my next post.

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