Course Project

Your class project is an opportunity for you to explore an interesting problem in the context of a real-world data sets. Projects should be done in teams of three students. Each project will be assigned a TA as a project consultant/mentor; instructors and TAs will consult with you on your ideas, but of course the final responsibility to define and execute an interesting piece of work is yours. Your project will be worth 40% of your final class grade, and will have 4 deliverables:

  1. Proposal : 2 pages excluding references (10%)
    Due : February 18
  2. Midway Report : 5 pages excluding references (20%)
    Due : March 25
  3. Final Report : 8 pages excluding references (40%), email to
    Due : May 8, 11:59pm
  4. Presentation : (30%)
    On : May 4th, 10am - 2pm (session 1); May 5th, 12pm - 4pm (session 2), both at NSH 1305

All write-ups should use the ICML style.

Team Formation

You are responsible for forming project teams of 3 people. In some cases, we will also accept teams of 2, but a 3-person group is preferred. Once you have formed your group, please send one email per team to the class instructor list with the names of all team members. If you have trouble forming a group, please send us an email and we will help you find project partners.

Project Suggestions

Please see the list of suggested projects posted here.

Project Proposal

You must turn in a brief project proposal that provides an overview of your idea and also contains a brief survey of related work on the topic. We will provide a list of suggested project ideas for you to choose from, and we strongly suggest using one of these ideas, though you may discuss other project ideas with us, whether applied or theoretical. Note that even though you can use data sets you have used before, you cannot use work that you started prior to this class as your project.

Proposals should be approximately two pages long, and should include the following information:

The grading breakdown for the proposal is as follows:

The project proposal will be due on Wednesday, February 18th, and a printed hard copy should be submitted in class.

Midway Report

The midway report will serve as a check-point at the halfway mark of your project. It should be about 5 pages long, and should be formatted like a conference paper, with the following sections: introduction, background & related work, methods, experiments, conclusion. The introduction and related work sections should be in their final form; the section on the proposed methods should be almost finished; the sections on the experiments and conclusions will have the results you have obtained, perhaps with place-holders for the results you plan/hope to obtain.

The grading breakdown for the midway report is as follows:

Final Report

Your final report is expected to be 8 pages excluding references, in accordance with the length requirements for an ICML paper. It should have roughly the following format:

The grading breakdown for the final report is as follows:


All project teams will present their work at the end of the semester. Each team will be given a timeslot during which they will give a slide presentation to the class, similar in style to a conference presentation. If applicable, live demonstrations of your software are highly encouraged. The presentations will be held in NSH 1305 over two 3-4 hour sessions on Monday 5/4 and Tuesday 5/5. The schedule for presentations is here.

© 2009 Eric Xing @ School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
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