Proposal Presentation

Due: Thursday, October 3rd (before classtime)

Note: everyone should bring their laptops to this class session. Don't forget your laptops! If you don't have a laptop, we will have the laptop cart so you can simply check one out during the class period. You cannot use an iPad, phone, or other touchscreen device. You must use a laptop.

Assignment Overview

In this assignment, you and your teammates will present your project idea and plan to the class in seven minutes followed by two minutes of questions. We will be timing the presentations and will cut you off if you go over so you must rehearse beforehand. Note: you cannot and should not use Prezi. Trust me, it takes extreme discipline to use this tool correctly and most of you do not have enough speaking experience to do so. With Prezi, you will spend far too long on senseless animations that will only confuse your audience and take them away from your message--exactly the opposite of what you want from a good talk. I ban Prezi for your own good. Oh, and don't use clip-art either. :)

Other than those restrictions, you can use basically any software to help you present (as long I have it on my laptop) including: Mac Keynote, Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs. You need not using backing slides at all but I encourage it. :) I also fully encourage creative ways of presenting including skits, video, and audience participation (note: it's somewhat hard to do these things with seven minutes of presentation time).

Presentation Order

The presentation order was randomly selected (using Excel's =Rand() function). We will begin promptly at 2PM. If you are the first team, you must arrive at 1:55PM and be prepared to present at 2PM. Please email me if this is a problem.
  1. UMD Bus App
  2. Using Mobile Phones Accelerometers to Track Road Conditions
  3. Playing Piano Wherever A Kinect Is Available
  4. Creating More Learning Opportunities through Better Tutor Matching
  5. Fractal Drawing on Android Phones and Tablets
  6. Take back our time from line with technology
  7. Translated Chat: Inter-lingual Communication in the Digital Age

Due to unavoidable timing conflicts, the following team will present at the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 8th. The last day to tell me about conflicts is Thursday, Sept 26th during classtime:
  1. Geo-Sharing: A Mobile Application
  2. Graphical Interface for Reading and Writing Notes on Novels
  3. Inspiring Young People to Litter Less through Waste Disposal Awareness

Talk Breakdown

The talks will be seven minute presentations plus two minutes Q/A. You must use my laptop to mitigate transaction costs between switching teams (e.g., hooking up various laptops to the projection system which will inevitably fail; see law).

Each presentation must include:
  1. A title with tagline
  2. An introduction of all team members including names, year in university, and major(s)
  3. Problem motivation
  4. Problem description
  5. A short review of past solutions to problem
  6. Your proposed solution and what makes it unique
  7. Your target users and how they will benefit from your specific solution
  8. A description of your two formative research methods
  9. For one of the methods, go a bit deeper and tell us about your participants, your procedure, your data and analysis, and some of your key results.
  10. Conclusion

Talk Grading Rubric

Matt and I will be using a sheet very similar to this for our grading [link].


You will be performing reviews as a way to learn from your peers. Please be polite and respectful in your critiques. Malicious, nonconstructive comments will NOT be tolerated. We are all in this together. Let's support each other towards the goal of making our projects the best they can possibly be. You should also fill out feedback for your own team honestly and constructively.

Your peer review feedback forms are here:


Please upload your talk to the Wiki and post a link in your project page. If you used GDocs for the talk, simply provide a link to the slides.

Talk Examples

Here are two examples from past classes that were engaging, told an appropriate and convincing story, and followed the instructions appropriately for the assignment (at least in 2012). Note: the assignment criteria was different in 2012 but the examples are useful just the same.

You cannot really get a full sense of a talk simply by viewing the slides (though the slides can, alone, show off primary points, the structure of the talk, speakers attention to detail, aesthetics, etc.). So, you cannot necessarily emulate these presentations exactly without knowing what the speakers did and how they did it. When I'm preparing for a talk, I like to remind myself that one can give an amazing talk without slides but the opposite is not true (i.e., I've seen plenty of bad talks with amazing looking slides).
  1. Example One: SafePath .
  2. Example Two: Alliance (their slides made the class dizzy and the animation disrupts the flow of the talk--despite these two things, however, this team made a very thought-provoking and compelling presentation).

Some of My Talks

Also, I suggest that you take a look at the slides of some of my talks to get a sense of what I aim for in my own presentations (at least in terms of visual style):

Moving Beyond Line Graphs

Links: [Slideshare] [PPTX]

The Design and Evaluation of Prototype Eco-Feedback Displays for Fixture-Level Water Usage Data

Links: [Slideshare] [PPTX]

Gamifying Green

Links: [Slideshare] [PPTX]

If you download the PPTX (PowerPoint) files, you will need Segoe Condensed, Segoe UI Light, and Segoe UI Semibold fonts. You may also need Helvetica and variants (e.g., HelveticaNeueLT Com 25 UltLt).

Presentation Tips

  • You can use any presentation medium you prefer except for Prezi. Many students seem to prefer Google Docs; I think this is fine and I understand this makes collaboration easier but please make sure the slides don't look thrown together at the last minute with randomly placed clip-art and long bullet point lists.

  • Remember, to reduce delays between presentations, we will be presenting off of one single laptop. Thus, if you use a custom font in PowerPoint or Keynote, please make sure that this is loaded onto the presentation laptop before class begins.