CS 744 Big Data Systems, Fall 2018 – Lecture Format
Every class we will discuss three papers, one main paper that students will have to read and write a
review for (see paper review section below) and two related papers that will be presented by
Each class will have two parts:
- In the first part, the instructor will lead a discussion for 25 mins about the main paper and also include
discussion of student reviews that were posted before class.
- In the second part, two assigned students will each lead a discussion about the two related papers for 20
- The student presentations should be emailed to the instructions by 9am on the day before the class
(i.e. Monday 9am for Tuesday class and Wednesday 9am for Thursday class). Instructors will provide
comments about the presentation.
- Each student presentation should include:
- Problem: What is the paper trying to solve? How real is the problem?
- Key idea: What is the main idea in the solution?
- Novelty: What is different from previous work, and why?
- Critique: Is there anything you would change in the solution?
- Comparison: How does this paper relate to the main paper ?
Before 9:00 am on day of class, please post your review of the main paper to the corresponding thread on Piazza.
Your posting should contain:
- A one or two sentence summary of the paper
- A description of the problem they were trying to solve
- A summary of the contributions of the paper
- One flaw or thing that can be improved about the paper
- One thing you were confused about from the paper
The review should not be more than a page in length. Late write-ups will receive a zero grade.
Each review will be graded on the following criteria:
- Does the review include all sections (summary, problem, contributions, flaws, topic question)
- Are all assertions backed up (e.g. “X is a bad idea” is not acceptable, but “X is a bad idea because Y”) is acceptable
- Is the review concise? The summary should be a few sentences and give the essence of the design in
the paper, not the problem. (E.g., “This paper is about how to build a multiprocessor operating
system” is not acceptable, but “This paper is about building a multiprocessor operating system by
layering abstractions that mask the existence of multiple processors” is acceptable)
- Did the student understand the material? Are there factual flaws in the review? For example, if the
paper defines a term, does the student use it appropriately? As another example, if students state
that a paper is relevant because modern operating systems do things the same way, is that true?