Spring 2014 Data and Information Ph.D.
Exam Available January 6, 2014
Philosophy of Examination
- Edward Fox
- Chang-Tien Lu (Chair, Primary Contact)
- Aditya Prakash
Process and Format
- Since students vary in their abilities regarding written and oral communication,
and since doctoral students are expected to have some skill with each media
type, students will explain their solutions both in writing and orally. Solutions
will be graded based on their clarity as a result of the union of these modes
- Students are expected to have studied all works in the reading list. Any
pre-requisite or background knowledge required to understand the works in
the reading list are also expected to be acquired by the student.
- Students are expected to understand those works at the level of a doctoral
student who has taken the equivalent of courses such as CS5525 Data Analytics, CS5604 Information Storage and Retrieval, CS5614 Database Management Systems, and CS5984 Introduction to Data Mining.
- Students are expected to be able to understand a real situation/context/problem
in the information/data area, to be able to synthesize/apply the findings
of multiple papers from the reading list to such problems, and to be able
to formulate an answer outlining how they would approach and solve that problem.
- The examination includes a takehome examination that is expected to be administered
in the beginning of 2014.
- At the beginning of the examination period, all students will receive a
document that contains two questions.
- By the end of the examination period, each student must turn in a written
solution to one of those questions, i.e., the student must choose one out
of three. It is expected that the solutions will be no longer than 10
pages (excluding references) at 10 point or larger using IEEE 2-column style format.
- Also at this time, each student must turn in a PowerPoint presentation or
equivalent that will be used for an oral explanation of the written solution.
Oral explanations, lasting no longer than 30 minutes, will
be scheduled as soon after the end of the exam week as feasible, using VTEL
or equivalent as needed to ensure coverage by students and/or faculty in either
Blacksburg or N. Virginia.
- Written solutions might be expected to have the following approximate format
(although detailed guidelines will be provided during the exam):
It is important that any assumptions made be clearly stated in the written
- a motivation section making clear the context of the problem/situation
- a clear statement of the problem in terms of concepts and terminology
in the information/data area, that addresses the situation/context
- a review of related literature, drawn mostly from multiple relevant
works in the reading list
- a statement of how the problem can be approached
- a description of the approach to solve the problem
- Oral presentations must follow what is given in the previously turned-in
PowerPoint file or equivalent. They must be completed within a 30 minute period,
in which roughly 25 minutes are for presentation and 5 minutes for answering
questions posed by faculty examiners.
- Each solution will be graded by at least 2 faculty members. A combined grade
will then be assigned for each student based on all faculty input by the area
committee, on a scale of 0-3, as is called for by GPC policies.
- 12/6 (Friday), 2013: Complete Reading List Available.
- 1/6 (Monday), 2014: Written Examination Available.
- 1/19 (Sunday) 6PM, 2014: Written Examination Due.
- 1/23 (Thursday) 6PM, 2014: PowerPoint Presentation File Due.
- 1/24 - 1/31 (Friday), 2014: Oral Examination.
- 2/14 (Friday), 2014: Exam Results due to GPC.
Oral Examination Schedule (NVC 320, McBryde 133C, ICTAS 321)
- (1) 1/30 Thursday 5:15PM - 5:50PM : Wei Wang (NVC 320, ICTAS 321)
- (2) 1/30 Thursday 5:55PM - 6:30PM : Jeff Kendall (NVC 320, ICTAS 321)
- (3) 1/31 Friday 3:00PM - 3:35PM : Liangzhe Chen (BB McBryde 133C, NVC 320)
- (4) 1/31 Friday 3:40PM - 4:15PM : Saurav Ghosh (NVC 320, BB McBryde 133C)
- (5) 1/31 Friday 4:25PM - 5:00PM : Yao Zhang (BB McBryde 133C, NVC 320)
(Note: Some of the hyperlinks below lead to web pages maintained by the
respective publishers. You may or may not be able to download the articles directly
from these web pages - this depends on the host computer from which the access
is made. To access the articles, we recommend that you go through the VT-subscribed
ACM digital library or IEEE Explore interface).
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