Final Project

CMSC 635, Fall 2005


A major component of this course will be the execution of a term project. You may propose your own idea, or come to the instructor for ideas.


Projects will be structured as a sequence of phases. Completion of one phase is not required for initiation of the next. In many cases, it will benefit you to be working on multiple phases at the same time. For instance, you might be working on the implementation of an initial prototype concurrently with searching and reviewing the relevant literature.

Each phase includes a written component. Spelling and grammar count, so check them before you hand anything in.

Project Area (Sep 8)

Send an email indicating what area(s) you plan to explore in your project. You need not have a firm idea of the exact project yet.

Annotated Bibliography (Sep 22)

Review the literature in your area. As you do your review, you should begin to get some ideas for a specific project combining or extending the ideas you read. Let this guide your choice of literature to review as you go, focusing on papers describing other approaches to problems similar to yours. Summarize each relevant article in a paragraph or so. Describe how the approach taken in related work is similar to and different from the project ideas you are forming. Include complete references for all papers cited. Your annotated bibliography will be converted into a literature review to become part of your final paper. Correct spelling and grammar count, so check them before you hand anything in.

Initial Proposal (Oct 13)

Describe your plans to meet these requirements in a proposal of approximately a page. Ideally (or at least by the revised proposal), your proposal should describe:

Revised Proposal (Nov 3)

Revise your proposal into the beginnings of a paper. Your revised proposal should include a new section approximately one page in length describing what you found in your literature search. Describe how the approach taken in related work is similar to and different from yours. Include complete references for all papers cited. Your total revised proposal should include abstract, introduction, related work and an outline of your implementation section.

Status Report (Nov 14)

You should be pretty far along in your implementation by now. Update your implementation section and add a results section to your paper to cover what you have done and learned. Together, the implementation and results sections should be about 1-2 pages at this stage (including any images, drawings or equations necessary to explain your approach). Give a 5-10 minute summary to the class. Feel free to ask the class for feedback on how to approach remaining problems.

Paper and Final Release (Dec 1)

Complete an approximately 6-page technical paper describing your project in the style of a (short) SIGGRAPH paper. Sections you should plan to include are: abstract, introduction, related work, implementation, results, future directions, and references. Revise and reuse text from your proposal and status report. Your paper should include figures and images as appropriate. Remember, correct spelling and grammar count in all submitted work.

Package all code and supporting documentation into a final release. Your final release should include:

Presentation (Dec 6-13)

Prepare and present a 15-20 minute presentation of your project. Your presentation should be professional enough to give at a technical conference (e.g. organized approach, prepared slides, a short demo or video if appropriate).

Review (Dec 13)

You will be assigned two of your classmates papers to review. Complete a thorough peer review of both of your assigned papers using the class review form. These are single-blind reviews — reviewers know authors identities but authors do not know reviewers identities. Please refrain from including identifying information in your review. Your review will not be used to determine the grade of the reviewed papers, but may help them to improve their paper-writing skills and possibly improve their project paper for submission and publication. Please attempt to be complete and fair. Reviews for your paper, as well as the other reviews for the papers you reviewed will be returned to you at the final exam.