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TDTS02 Course Information


There are a few things that you need to do as soon as possible (i.e. the first week):

  • Team up with a friend. You have to manage this on your own. You will receive no help from the course staff.
  • Rank at least four topics from the topic list and e-mail me your ranking, so that I can start assigning topics to groups. See the course homepage for the deadline.

To ensure that this course is as good as it can be, it's really important that we keep open lines of communication between you and me. If you have suggestions, comments, opinions, ideas, questions, want to chat, or just want to yell at me in frustration, please come by my office. I'm easy to talk to (harder to shut up), and I will listen to what you have to say. I may not end up doing what you want me to, but I will consider your opinions.

Course Structure

The course consists of seminars, a written report and a presentation. Although the course runs over an entire semester you will have to work hard with it from the very first day in order to complete it. On the other hand, there is no crunch at the end of the course.


The first quarter (VT1) will start with a series of overview seminars held mostly by myself. These will lay the groundwork for the main part of the course. See the seminars page for details on how to prepare for each seminar.

Attendance is mandatory. If you miss a seminar you will be required to write a brief report (2-3 pages) on the seminar topic.


You will give a one or two-hour presentation on the topic you have been assigned, during the second half of the course. We will do two hour presentations if possible (surprisingly a two hor presentation is easier to prepare than a one hour presentation). See below for details.

Written report

You will write a short report on the topic you have been assigned. The scope of the report must be considerably larger than your presentation (how much larger depends on whether we are doing one or two hour presentations this year).

Your presentations

You will hold at least one educational presentation on a topic of your choice (selected from the list of approved topics).

To ensure that the quality of all presentations is high enough, you will meet with an adviser (i.e. me) at least twice before your lecture, and you will be required to meet a set of milestones listed on the course homepage.


Can we form a group of three? I get this question a lot. The answer is almost always no, you can't. There are some exceptions that depend on your topic and your circumstances. Groups of three are required to produce two presentations and a more comprehensive report than groups of two.

Can I do the work alone? I sometimes get this question too. I usually allow this, but I will expect the same quality from you working alone as I would from a group of two. Your workload will be heavier if you do this on your own, but since that is your personal choice, you won't get any breaks from me.

I can't find a partner. Can you assign one for me? No. You have three options: find a partner youself, do the work alone, or convince another group (and me) that you should be allowed to work in a group of three.

Page responsible: David Byers
Last updated: 2010-11-25