Significant Bits
CSC 213 Operating Systems and Parallel Algorithms Fall 2008


Each of you will present a brief overview/preview/insight/review of a recent development in the broad area of "systems." As lifelong learners, following technological developments in the popular and technical press as well as research publication venues is an important practice. Your job is to inform us, at a high level, about something that relates to the course material. The relation could be more in principle and goal, rather than necessarily a particular topic from the syllabus.


Your presentation should include what the development is, why it is important, a bit about how it is/was done, and perhaps something on who did it. You are asked to do just one during the semester, so find something interesting and share it with us!


The presentation schedule can be found on the course Wiki. (You must sign up for a time-slot by Wed 3 Sept.)

Please be ready to go at the beginning of class on the day you present. This probably means coming in a little before class is to start to prepare yourself, and/or any technology aids you are using.

E-mail your selected topic/news story/article/etc to the instructor as soon as you decide, but no later than one class week (akin to "business day") before you are to present. Thus, if you are presenting in week 8, you must submit your selection by the corresponding day in week 7.

No two bits will be allowed on the same (more or less) topic/story. Thus, selection is first come first served (FCFS in the lingo you will learn). There are a plethora of things happening, though, so I don't foresee any problems.


You will be asked to make presentations throughout your career, sometimes on your own work, but often on others'. More often than not, you will be very pressed for time. Since our class meets early, we have a lot of things to cover, and your peers are likely to need some awakening, the expectations are quite high for an exciting five minute tour of some interesting work. Because I believe these activities are as important as the lab work, it will count as a "fifteenth" lab, and I expect a reasonable amount of time will be spent preparing and researching your newsworthy topic. Using the same ternary scale as for exercises, your presentation (remember, it is brief!) will therefore be evaluated on the following criteria:
Is the material relevant to course subjects?
Is the presentation made so that the desired content (above) is easily understood?
Is the presentation adequately prepared and the presenter sufficiently knowledgable about the material and its context?
Is the presenter engaging? Does the presentation create interest?
To check that your presentation fits within the alloted time, and to increase your preparation, clarity, and appeal, it is highly suggested that you practice at least once, if not twice. (It is only five minutes, after all.) And don't be nervous! We're all here listening with eager ears.

Suggested Resources

* A highly respected, top conference.

These consumer sites have a very low signal to noise ratio and are not particularly recommended, but occasionally interesting research results pop up:
Jerod Weinman
Created 5 June 2008
Revised 15 August 2008