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1.  Dates will be revised shortly

  • Preliminary Project Ideas: Wednesday March 12
  • Proposal: Wednesday March 26
  • Progress Reports: Monday April 14
  • Presentations: See course calendar
  • Report: Email PDF to david [at] cs 8:59 AM Tue May 13

1.1  Project Goal

The project has two options. The first option is to do some original research in computer architecture (e.g., write a simulator and gather some simple numbers) or to re-validate data found in a published paper. This type of project is especially recommended for students considering a Ph.D. You will be graded on how well you define your problem, survey previous work, design and conduct experiments, and present your results. The goal to shoot for is conference paper, like the ones in your reader. Since time is limited, however, the above goal is hard to reach, and I will reward those that aim high even if they do not completely succeed. The key is insuring that some aspects of your work are completely done; it is very hard to grade a project where the simulator did not quite work. This type of project should use groups of three. With my permission, project groups of two are permissible.

In the second option, you may work a group of two to write a paper that surveys an area within computer architecture. The paper should: summarize work in an area, giving extensive references, present opinions of others for and against various options (with references), and conclude with your opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of arguments presented above. You will be graded on the completeness of your survey, the accuracy of your summaries, the support you give for your opinions, and the quality of your presentation. Since a survey paper is "safer" than a research project, I will hold survey papers to a higher standard of completeness and analysis of the literature.

I normally accept no late assignments. For this project, papers turned up to 24 hours hours late will be accepted with a 25% penalty. Don't avail yourself of this option; your hard work deserves full credit.

1.2  Preliminary Project Ideas

You should prepare 2-3 project ideas that you would like to pursue. It is fine to have a preferred topic, but you must think about at least one alternative. You should also tell me the names and email addresses of each of the project team members.

1.3  Proposal

Send your proposal by email, use subject: [CS 752] Project Proposal.

Proposals should be about two pages long. They should include:

  • A description of your topic,
  • A statement of why you think the topic is interesting or important,
  • For research projects, a description of the methods you will use to evaluate your ideas
  • References to at least three relevant papers you have already read
  • A plan to address other related work.

The text and the papers we've read point to many other papers that you may find useful. See also Proceedings of the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, Proceedings of the High-Performance Computer Architecture, Proceedings of the conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, IEEE Transactions on Computers, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, IEEE Computer, IEEE Micro, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems.) Near the end of the course web page are a couple pointers to on-line resources.

1.4  Progress Reports

Progress Reports should include a revised version of the proposal plus one page describing accomplishments so far and any unresolved problems that you have encountered. Concentrate on describing sub-tasks completed, rather than the tasks started. For example, say ``completed simulator design at subroutine level rather than saying ``started writing simulator.

1.5  Final Presentations

We will have a class conference with 15-minute conference-style talks. All group members should deliver part of the talk. The talk should give highlights of the final report, including the problem, motivation, results, conclusions, and possible future work. Time limits will be enforced to let everyone present. Please, practice your talk to make it better and see how long it is. Have a plan for what slides to skip if you get behind.

Presentation Grading Rubric

Using subject: [CS 752] Project Final Talk., email me draft slides by 6:00am the day of your presentation and final slides 90 minutes before the presentation.

1.6  Final Report

Reports should consist of an abstract, body and optional appendices, much like a conference paper. The abstract should summarize the contributions of the report in one or two paragraphs. The length of the body should be the equivalent of 15-20 pages at double-spaced 10-point. Additional supporting material of any length can be put in appendices. I will read the body and only skim appendices. See your reader for examples.

Put final reports in my mailbox and email PDF with subject: [CS 752] Project Report.

1.7  Topics

You are encouraged to come up with your own topic. Ideally, the topic will be related to your current research interests.

There can be value in combining your project with other work in one of two ways. First, if you have active research in a related area (e.g, an RA), you can do a deeper project by combining your current (supported) research with your course project. Second, it is also possible to do a single multi-disciplinary project to satisfy multiple courses (e.g., CS736). However, this must be coordinated with the other instructor(s) and you will be expected to do two (or more) projects worth of work. In all such cases, it is imperative that such overlaps be disclosed at the proposal stage so that we can address the scope of research that will be required.

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