Commentaries on Readings

To introduce you to research methods and to expose you to cutting-edge research, a portion of this course is devoted to discussing research papers. To help direct class discussion, everyone is expected to submit a commentary on assigned papers. This aspect of the class will culminate in the peer-reviewing assignment towards the end of the semester.

Critiquing a Paper

Your commentary should not primarily summarize/reiterate the paper. Instead, present your deeper understanding and critical analysis. Examples of questions that you might address are:

Avoid unsupported value judgments, like ``I liked...'' or ``I disagreed with...'' If you make judgments of this sort, explain why you liked or disagreed with the point you describe.

To Submit

I do not expect you to be able to fully understand the paper in great depth. Even just "skimming" the paper (see "How to read a Computer Science research paper") allows you to do the following:

NOTE: Do not spend huge amounts of time on this! Since the papers often talk about things not covered by R&N (either at this point in the semester, or at all), your job will often be more of an exercise in deciding "whether a research paper is good", without fully understanding everything! This is actually an important real-world skill useful for peer reviewing.


Submit your contribution to the appropriate discussion board forum in CourseWeb, no later than 24 hours before the relevant class. Thus, if the paper is to be presented at Monday's class, you need to post by Sunday at 11:30 am (or earlier).

When you are the discussion leader, you are not required to submit a commentary (although you are welcome to).