Class Presentation - CSCI 558L, Spring 2009

Presentation Procedure
You should select a presentation topic of your choice. There are some requirements and restrictions.

A presentation should be approximately 25 minutes without interrupting questions. (There may be unexpected clarification-type questions.) You should manange your time well during your talk. You will get penalty if your talk is too short or too long. There will be 5 minutes for questions and answers after your talk.

Important deadlines:

Suggested Presentation Topics
The following is a list of suggested topics to give students broad exposure on operating systems and networking technology. More emphasis is given to practical aspects of system design, implementation and operation than cutting-edge research issues. The topics are grouped in the following areas:
  • UNIX/Linux
    • Linux boot process
    • Linux file system layout
    • Linux TCP/IP stack
    • Kernel modules and device drivers
    • Cross-platform development for embedded systems
    • Embedded Linux: kernel and filesystem

  • Internet
    • IP address topics (classes, subnets, NAT, DHCP, etc.)
    • Interior routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, etc.)
    • Border gateway protocol (BGP)
    • BGP route oscillation
    • TCP flow behavior
    • Domain name system (DNS)
    • Network debugging and management (SNMP)
    • Network time protocol (NTP)

  • Security
    • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) - (proactive defense only; also, please note that IP Traceback is no longer an approved topic)
    • OS fingerprinting
    • Firewalls
    • Intrusion Detection

  • Wireless Networks
    • Overview of wireless LAN - IEEE 802.11 -- by Instructor
    • IEEE 802.11 security
    • IEEE 802.11 mesh networks
    • Bluetooth
    • IEEE 802.15.4 and Zigbee
    • Ad hoc routing protocols

  • Sensor Networks
    • Overview of wireless sensor networks -- by Instructor
    • Operating systems for sensor networks
    • Sensor network programming
    • MAC protocols for sensor networks
    • Routing in sensor networks


  • Your presentation must be based on at least one technical paper published in refereed journals, conferences, workshops, and symposiums. (Tech-reports, whitepapers, Internet articles, and books are not acceptable.) When you submit your presentation topic, you must specify (by giving full citation information) on which paper you will base your presentation.

  • Please note that some journal publications are basically newsletters and they are lightly reviewed. For example, Computer Communications Review is the newsletter of SIGCOMM, Performance Evaluation Review is the newsletter of SIGMETRICS, [BC: added 1/31/2009] Operating Systems Review is the newsletter of SIGOPS, and SIGMOD Record is the newsletter of SIGMOD. They are usually not as highly regarded as papers published in a well-established conference, workshop, or symposium.

  • Please also note that some journals are magazines and they often lack technical depth. For example, IEEE Spectrum, IEEE Computer, IEEE Security & Privacy, and Communication of the ACM are magazines of IEEE and CAM. A list of IEEE magazines can be found here.

  • The above requirement is a good starting point. If you don't adhere to the requirement above, you simply run the risk of losing some points. If you find a topic that does not satisfy the above requirement but are able to present it with depth, clarify, and interest, you may not lose points. You will not automatically lose points just because you do not satisfy the above requirement.

  • In general, it's not a good idea to pick a paper that describes a system architecture or how to add a new feature to an existing system. The reason is that a paper like these often gives a laundry list of features and design choices without giving detailed explanation of why these are the best choices for the system in question. It is much better to pick a paper that tries to present a way to improve a particular aspect of a system because papers like this tends to be more focused, examined alternatives, and presents evidance why their approach is better.

  • You are not required to agree with everything you have read in papers. You need to be critical of the papers you use for your presentation.


  • Please do not present something that was presented as course material in another class ( [BC: updated 1/31/2009] such as CS 530, CS 551, CS 555, CS 558L, CS 694a/b, etc.) If you did a paper in another class, but you did not give a talk about it, then this restriction does not apply.

  • Please do not base your presentation on something that was published long time ago. Your main reference should be published within the past 10 years.

  • In general, please do not present a very high level system description paper and give a laundry list of system features or buzzwords (unless you can make it very, very interesting). You need to present something with some technical depth (e.g., describe algorithms/protocols and present evaluations/studies of the algorithms/protocols).

  • In general, please do not present a very low level system description paper and give a laundry list of system details (unless you can make it very, very interesting). You need to present something interesting.
You should prepare your presentation slides and send them to me via email at least two days before your presentation. I will go over your slides, and may suggest some changes. You should send me your final version before your talk. If you don't send me your slides for comments before your talk, you don't directly lose points. However, you will be at the risk of missing important points in your presentation, which will result in a lower score.

[BC: Paragraph added 2/2/2009]
Please note that PowerPoint/PDF slides may be available from some authors' web sites. You must avoid committing plagiarism when you create your slides! Please refer to the Academic Integrity policy of this class. Please make sure that you come up with your own slides! If you need to copy from other people's slides, please cite is properly (e.g., "this figure is copied from Figure 5 of reference [1]").

Your slides should look professional and visually consistent. (You do not need a lot of fancy graphics.)

Please make sure to include your main references by giving full citation information in your slides.

Presentation Skills
Here are some tips for preparing your slides and giving your talk:
  • Cover all important concepts and ideas and ignore unimportant details. This is the key to keep your talk within 30 minutes.
  • If present multiple papers, try to present them in a systematic way by adding your own comments and summay that connect different papers together.
  • Use examples effectively to clarify ideas that are not straightforward.
  • Each slide should have a point. Details are used to support the point rather than burying it.
  • Do not steal slides posted to the Web by others! You may use some materials (e.g. pictures), but you should acknowledge the source in your slides (e.g. in a footnote).
  • Put page numbers on slides, so that people can easily refer to them.
  • You should have about 25 slides.
  • Do not speak too fast even if you can cover more contents. Your audience need a little time to think and follow your talk.
  • You should rehearse your talk beforehand.
Here is a list of other advice on the presentations:
Topic Selection
You should send your presentation topic selection to the instructor via a text e-mail to the instructor by 11:45pm, 2/4/2009. In your e-mail, you should list the following:
  • tentative title of your talk
  • brief topic description (a few sentenses; should not be more than 2 paragraphs)
  • which published paper you will base your presentation on (with full citation information).
    (Please do not send the actual paper, just the citation.)
Please note that you get no points for submitting the presentation topic selection email, but you will get a 25% deduction if you do not submit the email by the presentation topic selection deadline.

After you have submitted your presentation topic selection, it is possible that the primary paper you have chosen does not satisfy the requirements. In this case, you have up to one week before your talk to nail down a primary paper that satisfies the requirements. If you fail to do so, you will get a 25% deduction off of your presentation score.

I will grade your presentation according to the following points:
  • (70%) Technical content - coverage of important concepts, depth
    • In order to get an A in this category, you need to present something with good technical depth. This means that you need to give detailed description of difficult-to-understand concepts, algorithms, and/or protocols.

  • (30%) Presentation - familiarity, fluency, ability to present in easy-to-understand and interesting ways, quality of slides

  • Miscellaneous (possible deduction)
    • Time management: the maximum time for a talk is 30 minutes (if you go past 30 minutes, you will be asked to stop abruptly), so you should time your talk between 20 and 30 minutes
    • Interaction with audience, including listening to questions and giving relavent answers

We will assign letter grades to various parts of your project. The conversion from a letter grade to a numeric score (for the project) is done according to the following table:

Grade Points
A-  44
B+  36
B-  24
C+  16
C-   4
[BC: Paragraph added 3/25/2009]
After you have given your presentation, you should send your final slides to the instructor as soon as possible so that they can be posted on the lectures web page. If the instructor does not receive your final slides by the end of the last week of classes, you stand to lose a lot of points. (If you have never sent any draft copies of your slides to the instructor, you will receive a score of zero for your presentation.)

[Last updated Sat Sep 19 2020]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]