Demo Day

The purpose of this post is to outline the procedures for Demo Day.

  • Whether we have one or multiple Demo Days will depend on the number of students in the course.

  • Each Demo Day session will take 75 minutes and will be scheduled consistent with Harvard’s course times.

  • Prior to the start of a Demo Day session, all students participating will be divided into two groups: Presenters and Listeners. (Halfway through the session, students switch roles.)

  • Presenters should arrive no less than 5 minutes early. They should set up their laptops with an empty seat next to them (where the listener will sit). Put your backpacks at the side of the room so that Listeners can move around easily. Presenters should spread themselves around the room evenly, the better to avoid the distractions of other presentations.

  • Listeners should arrive on time, leave their backpacks at the side of the room, and sit down next to a Presenter. Feel free to engage in casual chit-chat. Pay attention to the organization of the room. Try to figure out the path which you will follow around the room as you move from Presenter to Presenter.

  • Each presentation between a Presenter and Listener begins the same way. The Listener asks “Tell me about your project.” The Presenter replies with their four sentence elevator pitch. This must be eloquent and memorized. After that, the Listener should guide the presentation however they like. Poke around the raw data. Play with the graphics. Look at the GitHub repo. Ask questions. The time is yours.

  • After X minutes, I will ring a bell. All Listeners immediately stand up — even if in the middle of a fun discussion — and move to the next Presenter in the circuit. (Please pass attention to the way the room is organized. Make sure to move to the next Presenter. You will generally be following the same person “around” the room.) Presenters stay where they are. And then the cycle starts again.

  • Presentations continue for the first 30 to 35 minutes. At that point, all Presenters put away their laptops and leave the room. We chat outside for a few minutes.

  • All Listeners go to the front of the room and write down the name/topic of the one or two presentations that impressed them the most. Listeners then grab their laptops and set up as Presenters. Former Presenters come back into the room, sit down as Listeners and, at the sound of the bell, say, “Tell me about your project.”

  • With a few minutes left in the session, we end. Presenters put away their laptops and step outside. Listeners go to the front and write down the name/topic of the one or two presentations that impressed them the most. (These “votes” do not affect grades directly. But, if we thought a presentation/Presenter was not that good, while lots of students liked it, we might revise our opinion upward.)

  • All students gather their belongs and leave. Enjoy the rest of your day!

David Kane
Preceptor in Statistical Methods and Mathematics
comments powered by Disqus