1. Overview
  2. Expectations
  3. Milestones and grading


The class project is an avenue for trying out ideas that you have seen in the class in a practical setting. Projects should ideally be done in groups of two.

Projects should be done in groups of at most two students.


  • The project should be an application that is related to the class.

  • The project idea could come from you. It could be about something that you are interested in or working on already.Of course, we are willing to brainstorm about the project with you and offer suggestions.

  • Ideally, your project should explore some new directions (a new model, a new application, a new algorithm, a new insight into an old problem, etc.)

Milestones and Grading

Your project is worth 50% of the class grade. This is broken down across the following milestones:

  1. Form a project team (5 points): Inform the instructor who is in the project group.

  2. Project proposal (10 points): A document no longer than 2 pages, consisting of the following information:

    • The problem. Describe the problem and mention why it is interesting along with a brief survey of related work. The survey doesn’t need to be complete, but do include information about how your problem has been approached in the literature. This will help you think about baselines to compare against in your experiments.

    • The data. Your proposal should describe the data that you have at hand. Ideally, you should have all the data that you need – or have a plan that will get you the data within the next couple of weeks.

    • Your approach. Briefly describe your proposed approach. Why your method is different from what has been done and why is your new approach interesting.

    • Evaluation. How you will evaluate your system. If you are working on a standard data set, there is probably a standard evaluation that has been followed in the literature. You could describe this.

  3. Intermediate status report (20 points): A two page document that says what you have done on the project so far. By this time, you should have interacted with the instructor or the TAs about your project. The report should describe:
    • The progress you have made towards your goal. (This can not be just “We collected data”.) (50%)
    • Details of your plan for rest of the semester (30%)
    • Pointers to literature (20%)
  4. Project report (35 points): A document no longer than 8 pages, structured like a research paper.
    1. What problem did you work on? Why is it interesting?
    2. What are the important ideas you explored?
    3. What ideas from the class did you use?
    4. What did you learn?
    5. Results (or for theoretical project, proofs)
    6. If you had much more time, how would you continue the project?

    Each of these components will be equally weighted in the report grade.

  5. Presentation (30 points): Instead of the final exam, we will have a presentation of the projects in the class. More details as we go along.