The prelim consists of the following components:
Successful completion of this examination satisfies the Area Exam portion of the Computer Science department's Preliminary Examination requirement.
Note that while these courses are strongly recommended as preparation for the SLP Prelim, students with transfer courses, or other kinds of preparation, may well be ready to take the prelim without taking these courses.
A 1-page written proposal that describes the topic area, specifies the approving SLP faculty member, and lists the technical papers to be reviewed is then submitted to the SLP Prelim Chair for consideration and approval early in the semester in which the exam is to be taken. Once the SLP Prelim Chair has approved both the topic area and the selected papers, the student has exactly 30 calendar days to prepare the review of the selected papers.
The student may consult relevant faculty members with specific questions concerning the content of the individual papers, but cannot solicit or receive assistance of any kind on the overall analysis of the papers.
Copies of the completed review will then be delivered via both hard-copy and pdf to the SLP prelim committee on or before the end of the 30 day period. Students may not submit preliminary drafts to any member of the committee for review.
The formal presentation will be held within six weeks of the submission of the paper. Given that three faculty schedules need to be coordinated, arrangements to schedule the date of the oral exam should begin as early in the semester as possible. Scheduling the presentation is the student's responsibility.
At the formal presentation students are expected to present the content of their review as they would at a technical conference. The committee's evaluation is based on the technical content, presentation style, and command of the area. Although fluency in English is not a requirement, students must be capable of clearly conveying the material orally. The presentation should be roughly 30 minutes in length. Students are strongly encouraged to make practice runs of their presentation to their peers, research associates and faculty members who are not participating in the SLP Prelim.
Prior conference papers, journal articles, masters theses, and class projects cannot be submitted verbatim as a substitute for the SLP Prelim paper. However, portions of such prior written work on which the student is the sole author may be re-used as the basis for part of the SLP paper. Use of material where the student is one of several authors must be negotiated between the student and the SLP faculty sponsor prior to the examination.
Professor James Martin will serve as the chair of the SLP prelim during the next academic year.