6.xxx (AKA 6.803 and 6.833)

The Human Intelligence Enterprise: 2019

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Visual Cognition and Visual Routines, by Shimon Ullman

WRT: 1.5 hours


If you discuss the paper or the assignment with another student—which we encourage—indicate whom you have talked with in your submitted composition. Of course your submitted composition must be written entirely by you.

Of course, you need not limit yourself to one side of one sheet of paper for this assignment:

Part A

Some advisory committees write reports that consist of an executive summary accompanied by something like 30 slides, which are supplemented by explanatory legends that supply useful detail beyond what is captured in the slides. If the slides are prepared according to 6.xxx maxims, the legends are essential, because the slides will be too telegraphic to be understood on their own. The legends range in length from a sentence to a page, tending to peak at a half page. This page, taken from a report of the Naval Research Advisory Committee, illustrates.

This format is the one to be used for the project report for those of you doing projects.

In this exercise, you are to try your hand at an abbreviated version of this format. In particular, you are to provide a slide show report on the thoughts of Ullman, except that:

Include in your slides, or legends, or both, a demonstration that you have read and understood the paper.

You may borrow freely from illustrations that appear in the paper. If you use PowerPoint or Impress regularly, great but you need not fight with slide making software or fret about not having such software. You may cut and paste or roughly trace material from the paper or provide your own rough sketches of what you have in mind.

Part B

With a big red pencil, or equivalent, identify salient, slogan, symbol, and surprise (if any), in your slides or legends.