Dalhousie University    [  http://web.cs.dal.ca/~vlado/csci6509/project.html  ]
Fall 2023 (Sep5-Dec6)
Faculty of Computer Science
Dalhousie University

CSCI 4152/6509 - Course Project

[ Home | Calendar | Project ]

Page Content

Choosing Project Topic

The course project for graduate students (CSCI 6509), who are in a research stream (e.g., MCS, PhD) should follow the basic structure of a typical research project, such as the research work on a thesis, only on a smaller scale. The undergraduate students (CSCI 4152) can also choose a research project, or they can do a more implementation-focused project. The graduate students who are not in a research stream (e.g., MDI or MACS students) may select a research project, but they can also choose an application or business-oriented project with core methodology based on NLP.

You can form project teams of up to four students, or work individually.

The main deliverable is the final report, which should be in the form of a technical report and will be due at the end of the term. Student presentations will be scheduled towards the end of the term, and each presentation will be up to up to 8 minutes long, followed by 4 minutes reserved for questions and switching speakers. The research graduate students (thesis streams) are required to give individual presentations, while other students can choose to give individual or team presentations.

Regarding presentation dates, once the presentation time slots are shown on the course calendar, you will need to let the instructor know your preference by email. The presentations will be scheduled based on first-come-first-served basis.


Note about emails: All emails related to the course must have the course number included in the subject, such as CSCI4152, CSCI6509, or, the best option, CSCI4152/6509.

In more details, your subject lines for two required emails must be:

P0 – Project Topic Proposal

Worth: 1% of the final mark
Due: Friday, Sep 29, 2023

You will need to choose a topic for your project. By the due date, you need to send to the instructor an email in plain text with the following information:

  1. tentative title,
  2. the list of team members, and
  3. one paragraph description of the topic.
Please do this as soon as you have chosen a topic. If two or more students or groups have the same or very similar topics, the team that sends P0 later may be required to change the topic. If the topic is not sufficiently relevant to the course, you may be asked to change it.

The following is a sample format of the email for P0:

To: Vlado Keselj <vlado@cs.dal.ca>
Subject: CSCI4152/6509: P0 submission


This is our P0 submission:

Title: Classification Using Advanced NLP Technique
Team members:
 Firstname Lastname, CSID, Banner#, email
 First2 Last2, CSID2, Banner#2, email2
  This is a paragraph description of the research problem, including
  possibly some ideas about where to get data, and what methods to use.

Do not send any attachements for P0, such as a PDF or Word document!

P1 – Project Statement

Worth: 5% of the final mark
Due: Monday, Oct 30, 2023

Deliverable: The P1 submission is one PDF document that MUST be named p1.pdf (mandatory lowercase letters) and submitted using the project GitLab repository created by the instructor for the course by the P1 deadline.

By the P1 deadline, all project repositories should have been created in the FCS GitLab server and you should know your project id, which has the format P-dd, where dd is the number of your project; e.g., P-01, P-02, etc. The P1 submission must be submitted in the main directory of your GitLab repository. The exact location of the repository will be explained in an email sent to the class email list. If you want, you can also submit additional documents (such as the Word or LaTeX version, or the plain text version). The P1 document should be about 2 pages long, although it is perfectly acceptable to have a longer document. A document prepared in LaTeX is preferred since it is more likely to meet expected style and typesetting quality.

Content: The P1 document must include:

  1. Project title,
  2. Names of the member(s) of the group,
  3. Problem statement,
  4. List of possible approaches with citations to relevant work,
  5. Project plan for the rest of the term, and
  6. List of references.
The statement should identify a feasible project.

Style: Style is a quite important component in evaluating P1 submissions. In addition to inciting student teams to keep working on the project during the term, a purpose of the P1 submission is to have a small exercise in preparing a small research paper in scientific style with appropriate use of fonts, sections numbers, citations, and references. You can find more notes on the style of P1 and the final report in the part P1 and Project Report Style Notes.

P1 will be marked based on its completeness, style and structure, clarity of presentation, and research on and analysis of related work. The P1 submission is a small test for submission of the final report. It is recommended that you use LaTeX. Present references at the end with full information in a way as typically done in research papers. Use appropriate citations in the main text to the list of references.

P – Project Presentation

Worth: 10% of the final mark, including class participation.

To book a presentation timeslot, you should check the course calendar web page for free timeslots, and send an email request to vlado@dnlp.ca with the subject line:
"CSCI4152/6509: Presentation time"

You are required to submit the slides of the presentation at least 24 hours before your presentation using GitLab. If you have individual slides and prefer to keep them separate, you can use the GitLab project assigned to you personally, or you want to share your slides with your team members you can use GitLab team project repository. In both cases, your slides should be saved in a directory named `presentation'. The slides can be original slides, or a slides handout (e.g., 6 slides per page), and they must be in PDF or PowerPoint format. You can submit additional files as well, such as presentation.tex.

Duration: The presentations should last up to 8 minutes, with 4 additional minutes reserved for questions and changing speakers, for the total of 12 minutes.

Content: There is a significant flexibility in choosing the topic of your presentation, but it should be related to the project. It could be the work you have done up to that time, or what you plan to do. It is a good idea to include research or other related work that you did so far. You could also present a related method from the textbook or another paper.

Evaluation scheme for presentations:

R – Project Report

Worth 20% of the final mark.

The written project report is submitted in an electronic form using GitLab. The report must be a PDF file in the main project directory, and it must be named report.pdf. You can also submit additional code, data, and other files that you find relevant. The reports are kept in archive with the instructor for several years.

Peer evaluation is not currently a mandatory part of the evaluation scheme, but the students will be asked to submit their peer evaluation after project report submission. A peer evaluation consists of feedback about contribution of all team members to the project and it is useful to discourage and detect very imbalanced contributions and give stronger incentive to all members of a team to contribute. If peer evaluations indicate imbalance in contributions in a project team, they may affect individual marks for the report, in a positive or negative way.

A typical recommended structure of a project report for a reaseach-oriented project is:

This structure is just a guideline and parts may not be relevant to your project. There are no fixed requirements about the length of the paper, since it may depend on the type of the project and number of people in a group. It is expected that a project report contains at least 8 pages, and it may be sufficient for an excellent project if some implementational or experimental work has been done.

P1 and Project Report Style Notes

P1 (Project Statement) can be considered to be a small exercise in writing the project report, and it should follow the same style guidelines, except the structure and the length.

The project report should be written in a good style from a technical Computer Science perspective. This is a bit loose specification. A couple of additional more concrete guidelines are provided below:

Example Approach to Course Project

  1. Choose an NLP-related problem that is important and interesting in your opinion. You should have some ideas about how it could be solved, and about what interesting results you could obtain by the end of term. The discussed problem should be feasible in this sense, but it should not be trivial.
  2. The next step is to search through existing published work and find out about existing solutions on the same problem, or to the closest similar problem. You can start with the textbook.
  3. Design your method, implement it, and run experiments; possibly try method variations.
  4. Analyze results. Revisit your methodology if needed.
  5. Finish the report. Keep writing during the term.

While the above guidelines describe a typical research project in NLP, you can also consider some alternative forms:

Alternative Project Types


  1. NLP Research Links on the course web page
  2. http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/ — ACL Anthology
  3. Google scholar and other scientific Internet resources

Topics of Some Previous Course Projects

The topics of some previous course projects are included in the lecture notes.
2002-2024 © Vlado Keselj, last update: 04-Feb-2024