Due: Tuesday, September 29th (in class)
Points: This is worth 40 points, 10% of your project grade (4% overall)

Note: everyone should bring their laptops to this class session. Don't forget your laptops! If you don't have a laptop with Internet access, let me know before the class period. Your phone will not work for this.

Assignment Overview

In this assignment, you and your teammates will present your project idea and plan to the class in six minutes followed by two minutes of questions. We will be timing the presentations and will cut you off if you go over so you must rehearse beforehand.

I encourage you to put together a presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs, PDF or some other medium that will work on my laptop (email me in advance if you have any questions). You need not use backing slides at all (but I encourage it). Think about creative ways of presenting including skits, video, and audience participation (although it's can be hard to do these things with just six minutes of presentation time--be sure you can finish in six minutes).

You can use my laptop or your own for the presentation. If you want to use my laptop, bring your presentation on a flash drive at least 15 minutes before class, or be able to access it online (and let me know were by at latest the night before). I will be in the classroom as early as 8:45 so you can get things loaded and tested before class. If you prefer to use your laptop, you must have standard VGA port or type A HDMI port (or adapters) to connect to the projector.

Presentation Order

The presentation order has been determined randomly (using Excel's =Rand() function). We will begin promptly at 9:30. If you are the first team, you must arrive by 9:25 and be prepared to present at 9:30 sharp. Because we only have 75 minutes of class, we can only fit 7 presentations into one day, so 4 teams were randomly selected to make their presentations on Thursday. However, I expect everyone to be ready to present by 9:30 Tuesday morning, so that in the event any of the Tuesday teams are unable to present, Thursday teams will fill in that slot.

Presenting on Tuesday, Sep 29, starting at 9:30 sharp
  1. Get Me Lost
  2. Finding an Odd Job
  3. Path Art
  4. Save Arrival Texter
  5. Feel Safe on Streets
  6. Pool Cloud Storage Services
  7. Empowering Students to Stay Focused

Presenting on Thursday, Oct 1, starting at 9:30 sharp
  1. DOTS Direct
  2. Actual Free Stuff on Campus
  3. Nearby Activities
  4. Time Ain't Free

Review Form

Talk Breakdown

The talks will be six minute presentations plus two minutes Q/A.

Each presentation must include:
  1. A title with tagline
  2. An introduction of all team members including names, year in university, and major(s)
  3. Problem motivation
  4. Problem description
  5. A short review of past solutions to problem
  6. Your proposed solution and what makes it unique
  7. Your target users and how they will benefit from your specific solution
  8. A description of your two formative research methods
  9. For one of the methods, go a bit deeper and tell us about your participants, your procedure, your data and analysis, and some of your key results.
  10. Conclusion

Talk Grading Rubric

Pallabi and I will be using a sheet very similar to this for our grading [link].


You will be performing reviews as a way to learn from your peers. Please be polite and respectful in your critiques. Malicious, nonconstructive comments will NOT be tolerated. We are all in this together. Let's support each other towards the goal of making our projects the best they can possibly be. You should also fill out feedback for your own team honestly and constructively.


Please upload your talk to Canvas. If you used GDocs for the talk, simply provide a link to the slides (shared so that anyone can see them).

Talk Examples

Here are two examples from past classes that were engaging, told an appropriate and convincing story, and followed the instructions appropriately for the assignment (at least in 2012). Note: the assignment criteria was different in 2012 but the examples are useful just the same.

You cannot really get a full sense of a talk simply by viewing the slides (though the slides can, alone, show off primary points, the structure of the talk, speakers attention to detail, aesthetics, etc.). So, you cannot necessarily emulate these presentations exactly without knowing what the speakers did and how they did it. When I'm preparing for a talk, I like to remind myself that one can give an amazing talk without slides but that amazing looking slides don't guarantee a good talk).
  1. Example One: SafePath .
  2. Example Two: Alliance (these slides made the class dizzy and the animation disrupts the flow of the talk--see the the notes below about Prezi--but despite these two things, this team made a very thought-provoking and compelling presentation).

Presentation Tips

  • You can use any presentation medium you prefer except for Prezi (see explanation below). Google Docs is fine and I understand this makes collaboration easier but please make sure the slides don't look thrown together at the last minute with randomly placed clip-art and long bullet point lists. And go easy on the clip art. It is usually more of a distraction than a boost to your explanatory power.

  • Why not use Prezi? It takes extreme discipline to use this tool correctly and the novelty of zooming around does not generally enhance the communication (see the second example above). With Prezi, you will spend far too long on senseless animations that will only confuse your audience and take them away from your message--exactly the opposite of what you want from a good talk. I ban Prezi for your own good.

  • Remember, to reduce delays between presentations, we will be presenting off of one single laptop. Thus, if you use a custom font in PowerPoint or Keynote, please make sure that this is loaded onto the presentation laptop before class begins.