You do a project only if you are registered for the graduate version, 6.833. You discharge your project obligation as follows:
phw at mit.eduby 7 April in the form specified in the next section.
You are to prepare a ascii text fileno doc, pdf, weird characters, ect. with prescribed xml tags because that eliminates the time I would otherwise spend getting everything in a uniform format. Here is the template with the prescribed xml tags:
<project> <student>...</student> <title>...</title> <vision> ... </vision> <type> ... </type> <steps> <ul> <li> ... </li> <li> ... </li> <li> ... </li> </ul> </steps> <contributions> <ul> <li> ... </li><li> ... </li> </ul> </contributions> </project>
And here is a representative sample. Contributions are anticipated contributions, hence phrased in past tense.
<project> <student>Alan Turing and Marvin Minsky</student> <title>The Effect of Linguistic Expression on Memory</title> <vision> If we are to understand the role of language in forming memories, then we need to understand how our discussion of a written work increases our ability to recall the content later. </vision> <type> Pilot experiment. </type> <steps> <ul> <li> Subjects will be asked to read a short story. Subjects in a control group will not be required to answer any questions. One test group will be asked questions in written form, and the second group will have a discussion with us about the work. </li> <li> A week later, we will call back the subjects and ask them questions about the reading. Questions will vary in terms of difficulty in order to determine how much each subject actually remembers. </li> <li> We will draw conclusions from this data about whether the subjects that wrote or spoke about the work better remember details of the story.</li> </ul> </steps> <contributions> <ul> <li> Collected and analyzed data relevant to establishing whether written or oral exercise of language aids recall. </li><li> Demonstrated that exercising the language faculty increases (or does not increase) a subject's story recall. </li> </ul> </contributions> </project>
Projects can be, but are not limited to, any of the following types:
One way to generate ideas is to write all the paper names on slips of paper, put them in a hat, and draw two at a time, asking if they make any sense. A famous mathematician (who?) claims he does new mathematics in a roughly analogous fashion.
For example, a few year ago you might have drawn the Rao paper and the Borchardt paper and asked if Borchardt's representation might be useful in describing Rao's routines (answer turned out to be yes).
If you get inspired and passionate about something, you might just find yourself with a real thesis proposal when you are done with this. After all, Dave Huffman discovered Huffman coding while doing a term paper in Bob Fano's information theory class.
One possibility, cutting across all types, is to do something relevant to Patrick's Genesis project. You can get a general idea of what is going on by reading the genesis papers.