Each student in the class will be responsible for leading the discussion of one or two of the papers assigned to the class. The student leading the discussion is called the discussant for that reading.

Pick one of the assigned readings (papers, not book chapters) from the list of readings for a specified day;  if you would like to sign up for a topic before the specific readings are listed, you may sign up for a day. (You might want to choose a second paper as well in case your first choice is already taken.) Then sign up for your selection on the discussant sign-up page on the T-Square Wiki on the appropriate day, and email the instructor with your choice.  If there is a different paper you would like to suggest as the main paper for your discussion (which everyone needs to read), please email the instructor as soon as possible for permission (it will need to be added to the reading list, etc.)

You can see the current discussant schedule on the schedule page.

How To Prepare For The Discussion

  1. Read and understand your chosen paper!  This might require you to do additional background reading to fully understand the content of the paper and it’s relationship to previous work.
  2. Look up and read at least two (2) papers that are strongly related to your chosen paper. These need to be published/archived papers from a journal, conference proceedings, book, or technical report series that is web-accessible! These papers may come from the list of references in your paper (in which case they are background material for your paper), or they may be later papers about the same topic by the same author(s) or others. Email the citations (and URLs) for these papers to the class before the class in which you present.  (use the T-Square mail function to mail the papers, and make sure the email is added to the email archive)
  3. Prepare an oral summary of your paper and the 2 related papers. No PowerPoint slides, transparencies, or handouts should be used. The oral summary should be no longer than eight (8) minutes. Do not write out your summary and then read it as a speech, but you may make notes to help you as you speak. Your talk should briefly summarize each paper, spending more time on the 2 related papers, since your classmates will have already read the paper from the reading list. For each related paper, include information about the motivation and background for the research, what work the authors actually did, what the results were, and what the conclusions were. Make sure you also state how the three papers are related. For example, if you chose one background paper and one later paper, you might first describe the background paper, then the reading list paper, then the later paper, with a transition in between the first and second papers explaining how they are related and a similar transition between the second and third papers.
  4. Prepare a list of at least five (5) questions about the reading list paper. These questions should not simply be factual in nature, but should be designed to stimulate discussion in the class. Examples of good questions include: “How is this software different from traditional 3D modeling software?”, “Why is calibration so important for this particular tracking system?”, “After reading this paper, what is your assessment of the current state of the art in VE display devices?”, or “Besides the ones mentioned in the paper, can you think of any alternate interaction techniques that could be implemented for this device?”. Email these questions to the class before the class in which you present (again, using the T-Square mail function).
  5. Create a blog entry on the class blog before class, that includes the references to the 3 papers, and the 5 questions.  This is done in place of the paper summaries you normally do each week.  You do not need to prepare a written summary of the main paper you will be discussing, but you should include a brief few sentences saying why the other two papers were chosen.
  6. You will first give your oral summary, then you will lead a discussion of the reading list paper, based on your list of questions. Be prepared, however, to take the discussion in different directions based on the responses you get. Also be prepared to answer questions about the paper or related work from the class or instructor. Your entire discussion period (summary + questions/answers) will last approximately 20 minutes (at a minimum), but may go longer depending on how the discussion is going.

Suggested Places to Look for Papers and Background Material

Georgia Tech has a subscription to the ACM Digital Library, which will allow you to search titles, abstracts, and full text of articles and download articles from selected proceedings or journals. ACM publications in the list below are followed by a link to the digital library. There are also links to the IEEExplore library, which is a similar electronic library for IEEE publications.  The library also has a subscription to Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments from MIT Press.  All are available through the GT library web site.

Another great resource is Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com).

Discussant Grading Criteria

The presentation is worth 10 points.  You will be graded on the choice of the two papers, your poise and confidence in your oral summary, the clarity of your summary of the content areas, the list of discussion questions, your background knowledge and ability to answer questions and how well you spark further discussion.