Instructions for Reaction Papers for CS673, Fall 2017
The idea of reaction papers is for you to familiarize yourselves more
in depth with some of the material covered in class, and do some
reading beyond what was covered. At the same time, you should be
thinking beyond what you just read, and not just take other people's
work for granted.
Consequently, your reaction paper should cover at least four research
papers on closely related topics.
At least two of these should be papers that were not covered in class,
and are not on the reading list for
the class, nor cited in the
In other words, go find papers that I may not have heard about yet.
You are welcome to discuss more than four
papers, if you feel that it fits well with your narrative.
The reaction paper should be individual work. In particular, you
should go look for the papers yourself, i.e., not simply ask your
classmates "Which other papers did you discuss?".
Your writeup should be about 3--5 pages with normal fonts and margins.
If you have a lot to say, in particular along the lines of new ideas, it
can be longer. If it is much shorter, you probably are not going into
enough depth. The organization should be roughly as follows.
- About one page should be used to summarize the main content and
results of the papers you are discussing. How do they fit in the
field, and what you have learned in class so far? What is the
connection between the papers you are discussing?
- About one page should be a judgment of what is in the
paper. What struck you as particularly interesting? What were the
authors missing? Was anything particularly unrealistic? This section
should go into a bit of depth. A statement like "This was a nice
paper", or "I didn't like this paper" by itself is
- About one page should be a discussion of what you feel may be an
interesting step to take beyond what the papers are doing. Perhaps
you have an idea of a better model for something? A better
algorithm? Or their papers suggest techniques that you would like to
apply elsewhere? Obviously, your ideas here will not be completely
worked out. They should be brainstorming ideas. If you have the time
to look up some more relevant literature, or can cite it off the top
of your head, all the better. Just as a measure of calibration, this
should be the result of thinking about possible extensions for a couple
of hours or so. Not a 5-minute output, nor a careful research project
- Obviously, these parts need not be separated into sections. You can
combine them in any way that makes for a good narrative.