Being able to explain your science to your peers is a key part of scientific research. If you don’t tell people what you found, they’ll never know! Therefore, the final for this class will be presentations in addition to the final paper.


Final presentations will take place Saturday, March 13th from 3:30-6pm Central in our normal Zoom room.

Because we have 15 projects and 150 minutes, you should have 8 minute presentations and 2 minutes for questions and switching to the next presentation. I apologize that there isn’t a scheduled break, however you are welcome to step away from the computer for a few minutes whenever you aren’t presenting. Attendance in mandatory though (ie, keep the break to a few minutes).

Recorded vs Live

Because we’re on Zoom, you can choose to record your presentation or present live, whichever you prefer. If you have recorded your presentation, you must still be present and can answer questions in the chat while the recording plays.

If you are worried about your connection being unstable, a recorded presentation is a good idea and you can send it to me and so I can play it for you since I’m on a wired connection.


There are several kinds of scientific presentations, but you will be aiming for a conference paper presentation, where you have an associated paper that has all the details. Because of that, you should think of your presentation as an advertisement for your paper: you are telling people enough about the problem and your results to get them interested enough to read your paper.

Therefore, I recommend the following sections and way of thinking about them:

  • Title slide
  • Motivating problem/question (ie convincing the audience of why your research question is interesting, which will include necessary background)
  • What you did (not all the details of your Methods, just the high level approach that you took to solve the problem)
  • What you found (a slide of two of graphs highlighting the most interesting result you found)
  • What it means (tying back to how the data you collected answers the question you asked, and why this is so exciting)
  • Conclusion (remind everyone of the motivating question, how you answered it, and what you found, this is a good slide to leave up for questions)

Because these presentations are very short (trust me, 8 minutes is very short!), you should focus on only the most interesting result, don’t try to fit in everything that you did!


If you have a partner, you are both expected to speak during the presentation a roughly equal amount.

Peers Presentations

You are expected to attend and participate in all of your peers’ presentations (with the exception of missing one for a break). There are several ways that you can participate:

  • Have you video on to show that you are watching (if this is possible for you, please don’t feel pressured if it isn’t reasonable for you to have your video on)
  • Ask a question during a peer’s question time
  • Type a question or comment into the chat while a peer is presenting
  • Applaud on camera or with the applause reaction when a peer finishes presenting


The presentation is 10% of your final grade and will be graded as follows (out of 100):

Item Points
Presentation polished and clearly practiced 15
Attended and participated in peers’ presentations 10
Presentation was 7-9 minutes 10
Motivating question and background 15
“What you did” explained at correct level 10
“What you found” explained at correct level 10
“What it means” explained at correct level 10
Conclusion slide 2
Presentation organized 8
Appropriate visual aids on slides 5
Able to answer questions 5