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ML Seminar Spring 2012, Course Rules

ML Seminar Spring 2012: How it's run

Main idea: we want to *learn* much, and want to learn *together* (as opposed to a traditional seminar style where in each session one paper is presented by one participant, with the effect that only the presenter really learns about the stuff in the paper).

We will have weekly study meetings. Typically  one week in advance I announce a paper or textbook chapter to be studied. You then put a great effort in understanding that text, but inevitably there will be questions remaining. We will have a jointly editable webpage. Please publish your pending questions on that page, until 4 days before the study meeting takes place. In these 4 days I will either prepare answers myself, or assign the task of dealing with this question to one or several of you if I think it's doable. This is like little (or not so little) individual homework assignments, and the seminar grade will be mostly based on your efforts in working out answers for these questions (which may require further reading of other sources). This is experimental and we'll see how it works out. Notice the time pressure - routine discipline is needed here.

There are two ways of how question-answering tasks are assigned. Firstly, and preferably, you can *bid* for becoming the answerer-in-charge of a question. If I think that this job is interesting and doable, I will then give that question to you. Second, I can assign these tasks in a way that I find fit and fair. All of this is communicated through the jointly editable webpage.

Grading of the "seminar" part: there are three components for the seminar grade. 1. presence in the seminar sessions. Presence is mandatory and will be simply ticked off. Amounts to 10% of the seminar grade (10% = always present, 0% = never there, linear interpolation). 2. Quality and number of questions. For full marks, 3 reasonable questions per study paper are expected. Altogether 20% of seminar grade. 3. Quality and/or effort of your answers. I will ensure that everybody gets 10 answer assignments during the seminar. I will determine a Jacobs full grade for your answer (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5). Grade weight of this component is 70%.