CS851: Biologically-Inspired Computing
Each presentation will be strictly limited to twenty minutes with additional time for questions. If you plan ahead and use your time wisely, this is plenty of time.
The goal of almost all presentations is to get your audience interested enough in what you are talking about that they will want to learn more. For your project presentations, the goal is to make your audience understand and remember the most important idea from your project. You cannot expect to convey a lot of technical information, but you should be able to motivate your work and convince your audience why it is important and interesting, make it abundantly clear to your audience what you actually did. There should be some technical content in your talk, including an explanation of one nugget that came out of your work.
All talks should tell a story. Don't fall into the trap of reading a list. All good stories:
Nearly all stories follow this model, and nearly all presentations should also.
- Introduce characters (e.g., rabbit). Characters may be familiar creatures or abstract things. If your characters are not cute and furry, you need to give your audience a reason to care about them.
- Describe an important problem (e.g., fox wants to eat rabbit)
- Relate events related to resolving the problem (rabbit tells fox about thesis). Sometimes the problem is resolved, sometimes bigger problems are introduced.
- Draw a general conclusion that is supported by your story (moral)
- Introduce characters: motivate your work
- Convey why the problem you are solving is interesting, important and exciting
- Place your work in context: how is it different from what others have done
- Give the audience a reason to listen to the rest of your talk. Unlike stories, technical presentations should not (often) use suspense.
- Explain what you did
- Don't be comprehensive - get the big picture across
- Use pictures, one clear example (maybe two if necessary), etc.
- Convey one technical nugget - show one neat concrete thing that came out of your work.
- Did your work solve the problem?
- What are the important results of your work
- Conclusion - Summarize your project with one key point. If your audience remembers one thing from your talk, you have succeeded.
- NSF Advanced Computation Inspired by Biological Processes Conference, Arlington, VA, 7 April 2003
- Len Adleman's Sneakers Story, Turing Award Citation
- Laboratory for Biomolecular Computation, Weizmann Institute; Yaakov Benenson, Tamar Paz-Elizur, Rivka Adar, Ehud Keinan, Zvi Livnah and Ehud Shapiro, Programmable and autonomous computing machine made of biomolecules
- Ron Weiss — biochemical logic circuits, Programming Cells
- Stephanie Forrest's Home Page
- S. Hofmeyr and S. Forrest, Architecture for an Artificial Immune System, 1999.
- Computer Immune Systems
University of Virginia
Department of Computer Science
CS 851: Biologically-Inspired Computing