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General Directive - As a result of discussions at the department level involving faculty members and graduate student representatives, we have collectively decided to change the format and focus of the Graduate Student Seminars. The new concept is to present your work in a way that is more inclusive of the entire ECE graduate student population by discussing the big ideas in your field and in your research, as opposed to delivering a very specialized talk that only a handful of people working in your area can follow. Therefore, when preparing your talk, you should make it understandable to someone with a Bachelor of Science degree, since this is the common denominator for all graduate students and faculty. The talk should be more like a tutorial for non-specialists and therefore you can use reference materials such as textbooks and previously published papers in addition to your own work.
When submitting your seminar abstract for approval by the Graduate Coordinator, write the abstract with the above guidelines in mind. Abstracts that do not meet these guidelines will be returned to the student for revision. Here's an example of an abstract before and after revision.
Here are some specific points to follow when preparing your talk:
- Focus on the big picture, the main concepts.
- Tell your audience how your field of study can impact their lives. In other words, what is the broad technological impact of your field?
- The talks should mainly be tutorial in nature
- Discuss the innovative points of your research and also some of the problems or challenges encountered.
- While talking about the challenges you can then transition to a more general discussion of things like:
a) “What other things are there to do in my field?”
b) “Where is the entire field going?”
c) "Are there any areas for inter-disciplinary collaboration?"
- During your talk define your basic terms as appropriate. For instance, do not assume that everyone knows or remembers what “MIMO”, or “Gaussian Mixture Models” or “Resonant Gate Drives” or “Soft Switching Techniques” or “Iterative Decoders” or “Multi-Rail Clusters” are.
- In your slide presentation use good amounts of block diagrams, drawings, and photographs if appropriate.
- Use large font sizes and keep your text brief.
- Use graphs and plots in place of equations wherever possible. People get more out of looking at a plot of an equation rather than the symbols during a fast-paced oral presentation.
- Talk duration: between 30 to 40 minutes followed by a question and answer period.