CS561.
Advanced Topics in Database Systems
Course grades are divided as follows:
Items 
Percentage 
Presentations 
25%

Reviews & Participation

15%

SemesterLong Project

35%

Homeworks 
10%

Final Exam

15%

Due Dates
 Reviews are due by the beginning of class before the presentation starts (Reviews are expected only when students are presenting research papers).
 No late submission is accepted.
 Each student may skip at most two reviews without affecting
his/her grade. This policy gives flexibility if a student has to miss a
class or so because of emergency.
 Homeworks will have their due date announced when a homework is released.
 Oneday late submission is accepted with 10% off the max grade.
 Twoday late submission is accepted with 20% off the max grade.
 Beyond that, no late submission is accepted.
Presentations, Reviews & Participation
 The course will be a seminartype course where we cover several
research papers. The instructor will present material covering some
papers and book chapters.
 Each student will also present 2 presentations. It is
encouraged for students to select papers of interest to them, and
possibly related to the project they plan to work on. Otherwise, papers
will be assigned by the instructor.
 There are several possible areas with a suggested list of papers can be found here.
 Presenter should cover the assigned paper as well as any basic background needed for the presentation.
 Presentation should be around 5060 mins. The remaining 1520 mins will be used for discussion.
 Presentations have 25% of the total grade. So, the presenter is
expected to send enough time creating a good presentation with well
coverage of material. The quality of the slides, the oral presentation,
and the understanding of the content will be all taken into account for
the grade.
 Hints for Good Presentation:
 Each presentation should have 12 slides as a background, 12
slides as a motivation, 12 slides as a problem statement, and then the
details of the paper.
 Practice your presentation, know what you want to say in each slide.
 More tips can be found here.
 Role of others (Reviewers)
 When a research paper is presented, all students, other than the presenter, need to read the paper and deliver a onepage review
of that paper. The whole class should engage in discussing the
presented paper, e.g., what are the strong points, what needs to be
addressed further, what are the weak points, and possible extensions.
 The presented paper will be available to all students at least one week before the presentation.
 The review due date is the start of class before the presentation begins.
 The grade will depend on the quality of your review. Basically,
each review should have the three components below: Summary, Strong
Points, and Weak Points.
 Hints for Good Reviews:
 Summary (one paragraph 510 lines):
Each review should start with a summary paragraph that describes
briefly the addressed problem and main challenges, and the solution.
 Strong Points (23 points):
List 23 strong points that you see about the paper and the proposed
solution, e.g., why this work is novel, what is the most interesting
idea behind the solution, does the paper have enough evaluation and
performance measures.
 Weak Points (23 points):
List 23 weak points that you think have not been addressed adequately,
possible weaknesses, assumptions that are not practical, or extensions
you think are good.
LongTerm Project
 There will be 1 project in the course. Students will be divided into teams of two.
 The instructor will suggest few projects that students can work on. However, students are welcome to propose ideas as well.
 The instructor will work closely with each team during the semester to provide continuous feedback and directions.
 The project will involve implementing some of the
techniques covered in class along with some modifications/extensions to
them, or performing comparative study between alternative techniques.
A good
project would possibly result in writing a publishable paper.
 Near
the end of the semester, each team will give a presentation of the work
they did. Also, a comprehensive report and software will be
delivered at that time.
Homeworks
There will be 4 to 5 short homeworks throughout the
course. Homeworks will cover the presentations given by the instructor
only (not by students).
Final Exam
Final exam will cover the presentations given by the instructor only (not by students).