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N.B.: This course is finished. I am maintaining this website for visitor's benefits. The projects below were done by the students in Semester I of 2005/06. Students were required to make a poster presentation, these are the slides that were used. Their final project submission was a paper in the form of a normal conference submission (8-10 page limit). If you have any questions about the project or would like to get a hold of their final report, please email the appropriate student(s). You can also find projects from the earlier versions of this course run in Semester I of 2005/06, 2004/05 and 2003/04.

Completed projects

What is the project?

Projects will be done individually or in groups of two or three. Note that grading criteria for projects will not differ between projects based on manpower; individuals and teams of two are often better coordinated than teams of three, especially in short projects.

A good research project must (i) define a problem (ii) propose a solution (iii) implement the solution (simulated or real) and (iv) evaluate againsts any applicable existing solutions or related work.

Your research project can take one of the following manifestations:

Remember, good research always teaches other researchers something new.

I do not expect you to write any code from scratch. In fact, if you have an account on sf3/sunfire, you can access a host of related software that I use in my research, in the NLP/IR software repository. Feel free to suggest to me other resources that you feel would be useful to have installed and available to the class. Also, please contact me if your quota of disk space is not sufficient for you to do the scale of research that you need.

A few highlighted resources in the NLP/IR software repository that can help you do research for this course are:

Choosing a project

Below you will find a list of possible final projects. As this is a seminar, research course, you will be primarily assessed on the work you do on the final project. As such I expect and demand that each student/team of students achieve some novel research development or finding that is not a rehashing of the existing literature. The midterm survey paper is intended to foster this understanding and encourage you to poke into new territories.

You are welcomed and encouraged to propose alternate projects. Your topic should blend together your strengths from your background, experience and current coursework, yet be applicable to digital libraries research. I have listed some ideas for projects in certain areas. Teams that have taken projects that interest them and/or have relevance to their research or jobs seem to always do best. Some of the possible projects include (but are not limited to):

I have references some starting references for some of these topics. You may find it helpful to view past projects by previous students in earlier versions of this course run in Semester I of 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2003/04.

Project write-up, presentation and grading

Here are some slides on how to do your project proposal.
[ .pdf ] [ .htm ]

Part of the skills that you should practice in a project-based graduate class is how to report your work. Expert researchers will tell you that half (if not most) of your time on a project will involve polishing your paper so it is easy to read and straightforward. Generally, filling up the page limit is easy, but deciding what to omit and how to succinctly express your idea is difficult. Your team's write-up will take the form of a research paper intended for a conference submission with a 10 page limit. You should use an ACM proceedings style (You can follow the instructions for WWW 2004, for example). You may supplement this with a reference to your project's website / blog (if one was created) and any amount of appendices that you feel will help determine a grade. Selected final projects will be asked to submit their work to a relevant conference or journal, such as the ones listed on the miscellaneous page of this site.

On the last class session we will not have class. In lieu of class, we will meet in the evening for your project presentations on the 20th of November, as part of this year's Graduate Course Project Poster Session. Presentations will run for 10 minutes each with an additional five minutes for questions. Please sign up for a slot time. Only a single group representative needs to be present. If no one from your group can make the project presentation timing, please let me know in person or email.

Your project report is due by 11:59:59pm, 20 Nov (Monday). Standard late penalties apply, so please turn them in on-time. Grading for the project's final report and presentation are likely to follow similar weights as ones used in the previous version of this course: for the presentation, for research projects and for implementation projects.

Final Workload Disclaimer

The project is the primary method in which you will be assessed for your course. The workload throughout the rest of the course is purposely light to ensure that you have enough time to produce high-quality research in the project. As such you need to budget your team's time wisely and ensure that you have appropriately scoped your project and covered the topic with enough detail and with appropriate evaluation. Part-time students with other commitments need to be particularly aware of this, as past cases have shown this problem crops up with part-time students most often.

Some students inevitably start the project too late or mismanage their time and neglect such open-ended courses, in order to advance in classes that have more concrete assessment milestones. I warn you now to budget your time between classes wisely. As this is a four MC module, there are ten hours of time that a student should allot to this course. Eight of these are preparation time, and for this course the bulk of this time is intended for your project. Roughly speaking, you should invest about 7 weeks * 8 hours/week = 56 hours on your project.

Min-Yen Kan <> Created on: Thu Jun 16 09:04:02 GMT-8 2005 | Version: 1.0 | Last modified: Tue Nov 21 13:41:24 2006