In this assignment you will, over the course of 2 weeks, produce the first draft of your project proposal for the rest of the ERSP program.

Here are the requirements for this document, and more details are given in each section below.

  1. This is a group assignment. You will produce only one proposal per group. I propose using a divide-and-conquer + round robin approach where you first divide up the writing work to produce an initial very rough draft, and then you pass it around to have everyone take a pass over the whole text for consistency and smoothness.

The overall outline of your proposal will be as follows (You should use each of these titles as a header in your proposal)

  • Research context and problem statement: What is the context for the work you are doing, why should people care about your work, and what is the specific problem you will solve?
  • Research context and problem statement: Broader discussion of existing work and how your project relates to existing work 
  • Proposed Solution: What is your specific proposed solution to the problem you identified in part 1?
  • Evaluation and Implementation Plan: How will you know if your research was successful? And how will you organize your work to get it done in the time you have? This section will have two sub-headers: "Evaluation Plan" and "Timeline"
  • Publishing your proposal and getting set up to receive feedback from your peers.

Part 1: Research context and problem statement and Related Work

Due by class time Wed Week 6.

Before Wed week 6 your goal is to refine your related work section from the previous week's assignment and write the first section of your proposal: the "Research context and problem statement" section. In this section you should give the motivation for the area you are working in (why should people care) and the general context for the problem. You should include links to previous work (at least 3 references, but probably more!) in this section (how have others addressed this problem? Why are their solutions not sufficient?). You should conclude this section with a concise statement of the specific research problem(s) your group will be trying to solve.

The paper presentation and teaching exercises in class during week 3 gave you some practice with articulating high-level problems and breaking those problems down into sub-problems. We also took a look at how to write an introduction during the "writing workshop". Use these exercises and examples as guides in producing this part of the proposal.

We won't worry too much about length. It's the content that's important.

Part 2: Proposed Solution

Due by class time Wed Week 7.

You will continue the draft of your proposal by adding the Proposed Solution section. You will describe the specific work you will be doing, and explain how that work is a solution to the problem you laid out in the first section. Be as detailed as possible here, but make sure you present all of your work as a solution the your problem. The reader should never wonder, "Why are they doing to do that?"

Refine your proposal

During class Wednesday of Week 7, take another pass through the proposal and refine it based on the information you received on how to review a proposal during our previous lecture.

Part 3: Evaluation and Implementation plan

Due by class time Mon Week 8.

Finally, you will finish the draft of your proposal by writing the Evaluation and Implementation Plan section. This section will have two subsections:

Evaluation Plan: Describe the method that you will use to ensure that your solution is successful (or to measure how successful it is). This will include information like what experiments you will run, what data you will collect, how you will analyze this data and what results would show success (or failure). Be as detailed as possible here. You can always change this later.

Timeline: Make a timeline (in as much detail as possible) for completing the work over the next two quarters. Your work needs to be mostly complete by the start of spring quarter, so plan to do most of it during winter quarter. Spring will be used for writing up the work and doing the presentations (you'll be able to do some more research during Spring, but not that much so don't count on it).

This is lot to think about for one week, so just do your best. I don't expect the report to be perfect, but I am setting a high bar for the first week to force you to try to nail down what exactly you will do for your project this year. Please contact me if/when you have questions.

"Submit" your report by linking it from your group's main research page.


Part 4: Preparing for Peer Review

This part of this assignment is to get ready to receive peer review feedback.  

  1. Download your final draft for peer review as a PDF document and save it somewhere in your group's Google drive research folder.  
  2. In the Proposal Review Assignments sheet (I will put a link to this by Week 7 - look for it in the Week 8 schedule) put a link to your peer-review ready proposal PDF in the appropriate column. Make sure the proposal is readable (give read access to everyone who has the link).
  3. In your group research folder in our Google Drive, create an empty folder named "Peer Review Feedback" that is writable to anyone within UCSB's organization. Post a link to that folder next to the link to your proposal in the proposal links document.