On Leading Discussion

As a leader of discussion, your primary goals are to introduce a reading, and then encourage discussion. You do not need to master all the highly technical content of the paper, I will provide additional explanations as needed in class.


You will be marked on how well you: 
  • Understanding: understood the paper's main ideas
  • Visuals: illustrate the ideas in your presentation
  • Interaction: engage with your audience/classmates
  • Promptness: finish neither too quickly nor too slowly


Demonstrate your understanding by explaining, at a high level, the paper's
  • Questions & Answers: the problem the authors solve, the solutions they find
  • Approach: how the authors find their solutions
  • Success: how much of the problem do the authors solve? What are the limitations of the authors' approach?


Your presentation should show
  • The paper's imagery: almost every paper has images, they are a good way of illustrating the above points.
  • Demos or videos, if available: again, a very good way of illustrating the above points.
  • More imagery than text: say the words, don't show them.
 Here is an example presentation, and don't forget to submit your presentation.


Encourage class discussion throughout. To do this, discuss:
  • Interesting reading reactions: read posted reactions of your fellow class members, and explain the main questions and thoughts they had. Encourage them to discuss their reactions in class.
  • Issues raised by the authors: authors often raise questions in their own papers. Pose these to our class.
  • Quick exercise: give the class something to do that they can finish in a few minutes


You will have about 15 minutes or less for your reading discussion. Make sure that you:
  • Include time for the class to interact with you
  • Watch the time to finish before it expires
  • Use most of your assigned time
  • Cover the big ideas, not the details


    You must lead discussion of one required paper (if you find more than one, choose one). Each team member must rate the contribution of fellow team members.

    For teams of three I suggest dividing work like this:
    1. Intro: questions and high level answers
    2. Details: approach and results
    3. Discussion: by authors and class reactions
    For teams of four:
    1. Intro: questions and high level answers
    2. How: approach used in paper
    3. Results: what exactly where the answers found?
    4. Discussion: by authors and class reactions