Project report (due Dec 15th)

Please submit your project report as a PDF via Canvas.


The project report is similar to a paper that you might write for a conference or journal. It should describe the goal of your project, what approach you have applied to study the problem, your results, discussion, and conclusions from your results.  The project report should be between 5-6 pages (12 point single-spaced, excluding references), should have no more than 6 figures and should include the following sections:

1. Introduction: Describe the broad computational and biological problem that you are addressing in this project and why it is important.

2. Related work: Describe and reference current approaches or classes of methods to tackle the problem of interest.

3. Approach: Describe the algorithm(s) you applied to address the question of interest. Please put these algorithms in the context of other related approaches and describe why you selected the specific algorithm(s) for your problem.

4. Results: Describe the results that were generated as part of your experiments. Provide figures or tables summarizing your results. Provide legends for your figures and tables.

5. Discussion: Interpretation and discussion of your results. What lessons did you learn? What insights did you gain?

6. Future Work: How might you extend the work done in this project?

7. References

Your text and graphics must be your own original work. Avoid copying text or figures from other sources or papers. If you must include short snippets of external text, format and attribute it as a direct quote. See the guide from the library if you have questions.


Here are some examples of project reports from previous years: example1example2example3. Note that the report guidelines may have differed slightly in those years.

Project presentations (slides due Dec 5th)

Please prepare an 8 minute presentation. We will not have time for questions and will maintain a strict schedule to allow everyone an opportunity to present. Please read the guidelines below to help prepare your presentation.

Presentations will take place in class on Dec 6th, 8th, and 13th, and the schedule will be posted later. However, all students must upload their slides to Canvas by Dec 5th regardless of their presentation date. Think of the presentation as a progress report, not a final report.


Here are a few guidelines to help you prepare your presentation.

  1. Grading criteria: Grading will be based on both the content and your presentation style. Please strictly adhere to the 8 minute slot. Some points we will consider for your grade are: finishing on time, readable graphics, explaining figures/equations, minimizing jargon but explaining it when used. 
  2. Number of slides: For an 8 minute presentation, 6-8 slides should be enough. You might be a slow or fast speaker so please adjust according to your pace and time yourself in advance.
  3. Content: The presentation should be roughly structured as follows.
    • Problem overview: The overview should touch upon the description and motivation of the problem
    • Your approach and some background about how it relates to other approaches (related work is optional)
    • Experiments: Try to motivate experiments by the questions they seek to answer
    • Results: Try to describe the results based on the answers to your questions
    • Conclusions from results/lessons learned and future work. 

You might also find this article on 10 simple rules for making good presentations helpful.

Project proposals (due Oct 25th)

Please submit your project proposal as a PDF using this Canvas link.


The proposal document should be no more than 2 pages, 11 pt font. Contents must include:

1. Introduction: Broad question or problem your project is addressing. Briefly cite related work to provide background and context.

2. Approach: The steps you will take to implement your project. You should describe the methods or algorithms you will compare, the criteria you will use to compare these methods, and the datasets that you will apply these methods to. State whether you already have access to any required software or datasets.

3. Significance: Why is this is an interesting and important project? Once your project is completed what results do you expect to obtain and what questions will you be able to answer? What lessons do you expect to learn from your project?

4. References: Cite related work, datasets, algorithms you will use, and other relevant papers. This is not counted as part of the 2 page limit.

You are highly encouraged to discuss your project ideas, algorithms, and datasets with Professor Roy or Professor Gitter before writing the proposal.

Examples and ideas

See example_projects for project ideas and example1 and example2 for example project proposals. Note these proposals followed slightly different guidelines from those listed above.