20.380J | Spring 2010 | Undergraduate

Biological Engineering Design


Technical Paper Presentation Guidelines

In Ses #7 and Ses #8, we will have two class sessions of technical paper presentations. Six articles from the recent scientific literature, relating inflammation to cancer, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes will be posted on the class Web site shortly. Each article will be assigned to one of the 6 project teams. Each team will present a powerpoint presentation analyzing and critiquing their (one) assigned paper. Presentations should be 20 min, and will be followed by 15-20 min of questions/discussions. Your presentation should address some of the following key points:

  • Briefly cover any key background information needed to understand the study.
  • What were the objectives of the study?
  • What were the main findings?
  • Why were these findings important?
  • What are the potential IP aspects that could be employed by a company to move the technology/approach toward treatment of patients?
  • What experiments would you suggest could have/should have been done on addition to those described in the paper?

The entire team should participate in preparing the presentation and each memeber of the team should participate in the presentation itself-typically each student will present 1-2 slides. A good rule of thumb is to assume 1 minute per slide in a presentation.

Two important items of note:

  • Everyone should read each of should read each of the 6 papers. Each team will critique one other team’s presentation, and prepare a 1-page bullted summary of strengths/weaknesses of the presentation. Critique assignments will be blinded (we will tell each team which presentation they are critiquing, but you will not know which team was assigned to critique your presentation). you review will be reurned to the team that you critiqued, and the CI staff will give you feedback on that critique.
  • In addition, bear in mind that the mid-term exam will be on the 6 technical papers-further motivation to carefully read these and try to glean insights from the in-class discussion during the presentations.

Some helpful criteria to consider when reviewing another team’s paper:

  • Does this analysis of the literature tell a story—e.g., how this article relates to other articles published in the field, how this research advances our understanding of the topic, etc.
  • Is this analysis of the literature complete?
  • Does this analysis of the literature add to existing knowledge?
  • Are the conclusions definitive?
  • Are supporting figures chosen effectively?
  • Is it well presented?
  • Does it have proper documentation?