CS 5754: Virtual Environments


Announcements & syllabus




    Literature review

    IRB information

    List of current projects


    Final report



Final Exam


Paper Discussions

Each student in the class will be responsible for leading the discussion of one or two of the papers assigned to the class. The student leading the discussion is called the discussant for that reading.

Signing up to be a discussant

Pick one of the assigned readings (papers, not book chapters) from the list on the schedule page. Choose a second paper as well in case your first choice is already taken. Then sign up for your selection on the discussant sign-up sheet in class. If you do not sign up for a paper in class, check the schedule page for the current schedule of discussants, then email Dr. Bowman your selection from the remaining readings.

You can see the current discussant schedule on the schedule page.

How to prepare for the discussion

  1. Read your chosen paper! :-)
  2. Look up and read at least two (2) papers that are strongly related to your chosen paper. These need to be published/archived papers from a journal, conference proceedings, book, or technical report series. These papers may come from the list of references in your paper (in which case they are background material for your paper), or they may be later papers about the same topic by the same author(s) or others. Email the citations (and URLs if possible) for these papers to the class listserv before the class in which you present.
  3. Prepare an oral summary of your paper and the 2 related papers. No PowerPoint slides, transparencies, or handouts should be used. The oral summary should be no longer than eight (8) minutes. Do not write out your summary and then read it as a speech, but you may make notes to help you as you speak. Your talk should briefly summarize each paper, spending more time on the 2 related papers, since your classmates will have already read the paper from the reading list. For each related paper, include information about the motivation and background for the research, what work the authors actually did, what the results were, and what the conclusions were. Make sure you also state how the three papers are related. For example, if you chose one background paper and one later paper, you might first describe the background paper, then the reading list paper, then the later paper, with a transition in between the first and second papers explaining how they are related and a similar transition between the second and third papers.
  4. Prepare a list of at least five (5) questions about the reading list paper. These questions should not simply be factual in nature, but should be designed to stimulate discussion in the class. Examples of good questions include: "How is this software different from traditional 3D modeling software?", "Why is calibration so important for this particular tracking system?", "After reading this paper, what is your assessment of the current state of the art in VE display devices?", or "Besides the ones mentioned in the paper, can you think of any alternate interaction techniques that could be implemented for this device?". Email these questions to the class listserv before the class in which you present.
  5. You will first give your oral summary, then you will lead a discussion of the reading list paper, based on your list of questions. Be prepared, however, to take the discussion in different directions based on the responses you get. Also be prepared to answer questions about the paper or related work from the class or instructor. Your entire discussion period (summary + questions/answers) will last approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Note that you do not need to prepare a written summary of the paper you will be discussing.

Suggested publications in which to look for related papers and background materials:

Virginia Tech has a subscription to the ACM Digital Library, which will allow you to search titles, abstracts, and full text of articles and download articles from selected proceedings or journals. ACM publications in the list below are followed by a link to the digital library. There are also links to the IEEExplore library, which is a similar electronic library for IEEE publications.

  • Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments E-Journal
  • Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH conference (older conference proceedings are in Computer Graphics) ACM Digital Library
  • Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics ACM Digital Library
  • Proceedings of the IEEE Visualization Conference IEEExplore
  • Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (previously called the Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium) IEEExplore
  • Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology ACM Digital Library
  • Computer Graphics Quarterly E-Journal
  • IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications IEEExplore
  • IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics IEEExplore
  • ACM Transactions on Graphics ACM Digital Library
  • ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction ACM Digital Library

See Dr. Bowman if you are having trouble finding a relevant article.

Discussant grading criteria

The presentation is worth 10 percent of your final grade. These 10 points will be based on:

  • choice of two related papers (2 points)
  • poise and confidence in oral summary (2 points)
  • clear summary of the content areas described in 3. above (2 points)
  • list of discussion questions (2 points)
  • background knowledge and ability to answer questions (1 point)
  • how well you spark further discussion (1 point)