20.385(S13): About your reading assignments

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Presentation Response Record

On the weeks when you are NOT presenting, you are expect to:

  1. read the papers that will be presented so you can ask questions in class and
  2. write a one page summary after the presentation that includes:
  • the name of the paper, its authors, and the citation information
  • the presenter(s)
  • the main motivation, methods and conclusion(s) from the paper
  • your assessment of the work performed
  • the reason you believe it was included in this class
  • your assessment of its place in the larger context of synthetic biology
  • a constructive suggestion for how the presentation itself might have been might have been improved (this will *not* be shared with the presenter unless you specifically ask it to be).

As a guide for your work, a sample response record is offered here. This sample is a modified submission by JK for 20.902(S08).

You are not expected to submit a response record on the weeks you present a paper.
Response records are due by midnight on Tuesday the night before the next studio session.
This is approximately one week following the presentation itself.
Each response paragraph is worth 10 points.
Late assignments will be docked 0.5 points for each 24 hours late.
These response records will account for 20% of your final grade.

Presentations of Papers

The following components are expected in your presentations:

  1. Background information: to set the stage for your talk. Includes the nouns and verbs of your topic, the knowns and unknowns
  2. High level summary: one slide only
  3. Primary evidence: the key data and any explanation needed to understand the experimental method used
  4. Secondary/supportive evidence: other experiments or techniques that bolster primary data
  5. Key assumptions: can be in method, in conclusion or in experimental design
  6. Uh oh!?: if you had been reviewing this paper for publication, what questions or concerns would you have? would you recommend that the paper be published? Or, not?
  7. Significance: then and now. follow-up work since if relevant

To help with the book-keeping, please include the following on your title slides:

  • paper's title
  • paper's authors
  • your name
  • the date of your presentation

Please upload your presentation to the homework drop box on the day you give your presentation.

Your first presentation is worth up to 10% of your final grade.
Your second presentation is worth up to 15% of your final grade.

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