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 (10%)
    Due : February 10
  2. Midway Report : 5 pages (20%)
    Due : March 28
  3. Final Report : 8 pages, 9 pages including references (40%)
    Due : May 7
  4. Presentation : (30%)
    On : May 7

All write-ups should use the ICML style.

Team Formation

You are responsible for forming project teams of 3 people by Friday, January 31st. 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 Monday, February 10th, and should be submitted electronically via Canvas.

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:

The midway report will be due on Friday, March 28th, and should be submitted electronically via Canvas.

Final Report

Your final report is expected to be 8 pages (9 pages including 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: The final report will be due on Wednesday, May 7th, and should be submitted electronically via Canvas. Note that we will be posting all of the reports on the class webpage once the semester ends.


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. Details TBA.

Peer Reviews

After all final reports have been submitted, we will assign each student to review the projects of two other groups and submit a written assessment similar in style to a conference referee report.

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