Writing Summaries of Technical Papers
Each week of this course we'll be reading a set of primary technical papers focused around a particular research topic in perception. The papers will all be selected from the premier conference proceedings and journals.
Reading, comprehending, and critiquing technical papers is a critical skill for anyone interested in learning and understanding advanced concepts in a field. One of the best ways to understand a technical paper is to force yourself to summarize it, explain the core concept, analyze the strengths of the method, and identify potential weaknesses. These are the same skills required to review a technical paper for publication in a conference or journal
Please use the Colby wiki to write your summary. Put the label cs465f19 on your summary so that we can easily find them.
Elements of a summary
The first element of a summary should be a high level description of the main concept of the paper. The description should include the following information.
- What is the problem the authors are trying to solve?
- What is the approach they are using to solve the problem?
- How do the authors demonstrate whether/how well they solved the problem?
The second element of a summary is to identify the strengths of the paper and the proposed techniques or algorithms.
- What aspects of the paper are novel?
- How does the paper build on or enhance prior concepts
- How does the paper improve on prior work? Do the algorithms or techniques provide better performance, reduced computation, lower power, more generality, or new capabilities?
- Is the evaluation in the paper extensive, meaningful, or convincing?
- Does the paper address the limitations of the method?
The third element of a summary is to identify weaknesses or limitations of the proposed techniques or algorithms.
- Does the paper provide a meaningful benefit over prior work?
- Does the paper sufficiently acknowledge prior work in the field?
- Is the algorithm brittle or limited in its applicability?
- Is the evaluation sufficient to convince the reader of the benefits of the techniques or algorithms?
A fourth element of a summary are general questions about the writing, whether the authors connected their work to the larger field, and the paper's ability to convey knowledge to the reader.
- Is the paper well-written and clearly understandable?
- Is there sufficient detail in the paper such that a reader could duplicate the work?
- Did the paper inspire other research or new areas of discovery?
Summaries should be available by the afternoon before the class presentation so everyone else can read them before class.
Summaries will be evaluated using the following rubric.
- (70%) The summary contains all four elements and is available on time.
- (10%) Your presentation is clear and engages people in discussion.
- (5%) The summary provides a good description of the problem, the solution, and the evaluation.
- (5%) The summary clearly identifies the strengths of the paper or algorithm.
- (5%) The summary clearly identifies potential weaknesses or limitations of the paper or algorithm.
- (5%) The summary provides a meaninful evaluation of the paper's clarity and importance.
Note: your participation grade will be primarily based on your contributions to discussions when you are not presenting.