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View Full Version : Giving a programming presentation wednesday



BobMcGee123
12-04-2006, 11:36 AM
One of my professors has enlisted me to give a programming presentation to the programming class here where I go to school. I'm going to be discussing the physical model I use to simulate a hovercraft air cushion vehicle.

I've never done this before, so I'm somewhat nervous. I'm mostly just afraid that nobody will really care what I'm doing.

Anyway, I've discussed a basic plan with my professor, and this is essentially what the presentation will cover. It will likely take two classes to present.

-What is an air cushion vehicle? (slide1)
-What aspects am I trying to simulate in my simulation (slide 2)
-Show the computer program in action
-Discuss the code modules at the objective theoretical level (slide 3)
-Discuss specific algorithms and math, e.g. the physical model, what data is passed to the numerical solver, how do I accomplish the collision model, how do I test the validity of an algorithm, etc.

This is the same professor that is trying to start an organization with two MIT students, and now me, to write efficient and 'easier' surfacing software for machines that fabricate propellors (there is not really an effective streamlined way of going from the design phase of propellor fabrication to then instructing a machine to fabricate the part...the whole process is currently cumbersome, he wants to call this 'open prop').

Just thought I'd share...I'll tell you how it goes. If nothing else this ........ will look good on a resume.

Mario F.
12-04-2006, 11:41 AM
Well, good luck Bob. Keep those nerves controlled and all will be well. All the best.

indigo0086
12-04-2006, 11:47 AM
Blow them away! *pun*

twomers
12-04-2006, 12:49 PM
Have you ever presented anything before?

BobMcGee123
12-04-2006, 01:52 PM
Not anything that I actually cared about.

SlyMaelstrom
12-04-2006, 01:55 PM
Once he presented his "masculinity" to a woman, but he didn't quite get the response he expected.

I wish you much more luck with this one, Bob. :)

cboard_member
12-04-2006, 02:09 PM
Film it.

maxorator
12-04-2006, 02:09 PM
Don't show them that you're scared or they will bite.

BobMcGee123
12-04-2006, 02:33 PM
Once he presented his "masculinity" to a woman, but he didn't quite get the response he expected.

I wish you much more luck with this one, Bob. :)

Haha, yeah, that's what I was going to say!!!

I'm not really scared about presenting, when it comes right down to it I don't really care what they think, it's just that I'm actually interested in the topic. What I'm afraid of is that the class will just be made up of people that are forced to take the class and aren't particularly interested in my subject matter. But, well, whatever.

I don't know if I can film it or not, I'll look into it, but it probably won't happen.

Sentral
12-04-2006, 02:35 PM
While your in the middle of your presentation pull out a gun, and shoot yourself. Budd Dwyer style! :D

Good luck!!

twomers
12-04-2006, 03:40 PM
Yeah. Don't forget to imagine the people you're presenting to in your underwear ...

Perspective
12-04-2006, 03:54 PM
1. You're going to talk too fast. Slow down, pace yourself, and take the time to explain details, even if they seem obvious.

2. People will care so long as you have pretty screen shots.
... 2.1 Diagrams are a great way to explain things
... 2.2 If your slides have too much text, no one will read them

3. Pretend you're relaxed. If you act nervious your audience will feel nervous, if you act relaxed your audience will feel relaxed.
... 3.1 I like talking to the audience as if they were one friend sitting with me, very casual. It comes accross well but this is a preference thing. Some people like to be more formal.

4. Back to point one, you started talking fast again and didn't even notice... slow down ;)

manutd
12-04-2006, 04:05 PM
I like screenshots...But seriously, good luck! Record the screens for us :)

BobMcGee123
12-04-2006, 04:11 PM
Good suggestions per, and yeah the talking way too fast thing definitely applies to me. I told the professor to interrupt me and ask lots of questions because I *know* beyond a reasonable doubt I'll start to get off track, ramble quickly, etc.

EDIT:


If your slides have too much text, no one will read them


And don't have your presentation be what is on the slides...I hate it when professors give a powerpoint, and all they do is read the slide to us. My slides are basically just index cards that tell me to remember what to talk about (to guide my ramblings). But only as a guide.

Dave_Sinkula
12-04-2006, 07:43 PM
In addition to some of the advice previously mentioned, I once found a cheat for myself: bringing a glass of water. I get cottonmouthed anyways, but it also helps slow you down and relax.

Then, like Perspective said, pretend you are talking to some friends. I might even try to go with "like you're talking to your mom or some not-so-technical friends" -- at least in part. That can help you "cut to the chase" a bit. Which is to say, you are talking about something that interests you: help your audience get interested by sharing this with them.

So... Brief non-technical "executive summary". Why is this interesting?
What is an air cushion vehicle? (slide1)
The basics: what did you have to start with? Why was it insufficient?
What aspects am I trying to simulate in my simulation (slide 2)
Folksy again: a not-so-technical brief of the problems that influenced your code development.
Show the computer program in action
Re-draw interest by pointing out what your stuff does that the starting stuff didn't or had issues with.
Discuss the code modules at the objective theoretical level (slide 3)
Again mention the specific issues with available material as well as with what you've got.
Discuss specific algorithms and math, e.g. the physical model, what data is passed to the numerical solver, how do I accomplish the collision model, how do I test the validity of an algorithm, etc.
Again mention the specific issues with available material as well as with what you've got.Something like that, as a suggestion. I like it when a presenter goes back-and-forth from technical to not-so-technical -- it keeps me interested.

The stuff that just goes deeper and deeper into technical issues puts me to sleep, especially when it's the monologue of "this one thing only" rather than somewhat of a discussion of related items (some of which I may find familiar to regain my attention).

And yeah, try to avoid reading the slides. I do that too much even when I'm trying not to.

CornedBee
12-05-2006, 01:57 AM
Your slides shouldn't contain any sentences anyway, just bullet points and diagrams. Sentences are what you speak.

vart
12-05-2006, 02:28 AM
Your slides shouldn't contain any sentences anyway,
Nah... I preffer to see something like
"RTFM - read the f..ing manual"
or
"ACP - accelerated control procedure"

if the lecturer uses every time this magic JustAnotherVagueAcronym in his speacking, just in case I missed it when he said it first time

SMurf
12-05-2006, 04:47 AM
Maybe we could have a looksee at the .ppt when you're done? Rate your skillz and all that. ;)

cboard_member
12-05-2006, 12:45 PM
>> I don't know if I can film it or not, I'll look into it, but it probably won't happen.

I think it'd be really neat if you could.
I may learn something.

>> Maybe we could have a looksee at the .ppt when you're done? Rate your skillz and all that.

I thought he was just using slides a guide for himself more than the audience?

BobMcGee123
12-05-2006, 02:13 PM
Yeah, I am. The powerpoint will have little useful information.

SlyMaelstrom
12-05-2006, 02:31 PM
PowerPoint Tips (http://lay-uh.ytmnd.com/)

BobMcGee123
12-05-2006, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the tips.

I just found that I have a digital voice recorder. I think I will bring that with me when I present. I will have to then use my computer microphone to put it onto my computer, however. I think that would be a good thing to share with you all because I would like to get input from other programmers.

manutd
12-05-2006, 06:20 PM
Cool, thanks Bob (if that's your name ;))

BobMcGee123
12-05-2006, 08:24 PM
its actually charles :)

Mario F.
12-05-2006, 08:34 PM
Whatever you say Bob ;)

cboard_member
12-06-2006, 05:12 AM
But http://www.gamingdl.com/page.php?id=BobMcGee says Howard :eek: :p

BobMcGee123
12-06-2006, 06:49 AM
whoa, haven't updated that in a while. Maybe I should still actually make a game, ha. Actually, I could probably quickly whip up something similar to the hovertank game posted on gamingdl (the one with corny movement and ad hoc physics)

VirtualAce
12-06-2006, 08:03 AM
I wish I could attend so I could steal your ideas. :D

Good luck with the presentation. Bet that cockpit view will help a bunch eh Bob.

Perspective
12-06-2006, 02:31 PM
It's wednesday, crash and burn? ;)

BobMcGee123
12-06-2006, 03:25 PM
Well I just gave it, and I recorded it on the voice recorder ( had it in my shirt pocket ). According to my voice recorder it lasted about 40 minutes. I have to go home this weekend before I can put it on my computer.

I didn't realize how nerdy and nasally my voice sounds to other people until I listened to myself.

The presentation didn't go spectacularly great. I was a bit nervous, but the worst was that , as I was afraid of, most of the people in the class were just taking the programming class because they were forced to. The professor would keep asking me very detailed math questions. At one point I was trying to explain how to use quaternions and why they are useful in terms of numerical stability and decreased number of computations and, well, I just kind of got a lot of blank stares.

I did get a lot of praise when I ran the simulation and I took the computer hovercraft over a bunch of jumps, but whenever I tried explaining anything technical, well, I might as well have been speaking arabic. Awkward.

Oh well, it was good for the experience of giving presentations, at least :)

VirtualAce
12-06-2006, 11:58 PM
And to think these folks are the future of computer science. Scary eh.
They probably didn't understand what gimbal lock was or cared about it. I don't understand why colleges don't teach alternate equations such as quaternions when they are far more stable, easily interpolated, and not prone to the pitfalls of Euler angles.

So you have to be in a masters program before the college even talks about these things? Crazy.


I'd love to see the presentation if you wouldn't mind.

Perspective
12-07-2006, 01:06 PM
I learned about quaternions in my 3rd year of undergrad.. (well, it was a 4th year course).

Mario F.
12-07-2006, 01:22 PM
Euler angles and gimbal locks, quaternion interpolation, matrix conversions and shortest arcs are way off my league. But was I one of those students having the unique opportunity of being tutored into 3D Game programming... boy! would I grab that like I was going to lose it, or what?!