I am busily putting together slides for Friday's committee meeting #1. Can't quite write the whole thesis before any committee meetings, I suppose... :)
So what content is supposed to be in the slides for the meeting?
I know, generally, that the point is to propose (and defend, to some extent) what you want to do for your PhD project. But when I got down to the details, I realized that there are a few more conventions than that. So here's my outline:
Title Page: includes my working thesis title, the committee meeting number (a big 'ol FIRST ONE for me), who my advisor is, and what lab I work in
About Me: this I was told to include by older students, but I wouldn't have thought of it otherwise. You put down where you did your undergrad, Master's, and when you passed quals. A list of papers and conference presentations, and what your post-PhD plans are. I actually didn't put down my post-PhD plans, as I plan to get out of academia...
Problem: The biggest complaint I hear about seminars is that the speaker doesn't tell you the general overview up front. All it takes is a couple sentences: "I've decided that my project is going to be to build a machine to manufacture phasers out of unobtainium." Then people don't have to wait through ten slides to get to the point.
Purpose/Importance/Impact: I've taken a class from my second committee member, and he always drilled into us that in any presentation, you must begin with "PII." Purpose of the project - what you plan to get out of it. Importance - why anyone would care. Impact - what are the practical applications. I made sure to include this, if only to make that second committee member happy!
Why I Chose You: I put in one slide on why I chose my advisors - what expertise I hope they can contribute and how they fit into the project.
Why You Chose The Project: I said that I wanted to manufacture phasers out of unobtanium - but why not manufacture transporters? Or why not make phasers powered by melange? You can't do everything in your PhD, you have to narrow down the focus. But there has to be some thought behind the narrowing - how you analyzed the possibilities, and the justification behind your choices.
Previous Work: So has anyone else tried to make phasers out of unobtanium? How did that go? If not, what HAS unobtanium been used for? Have phasers been made from aluminum before?
Your Planned Approach: How do I plan to tackle the project? Build a mini-phaser first? Obtain the unobtainium? What issues do I think may arise? Any back of the envelope calculations I may have tried to help guide me?
Timeline: A Gantt chart of my project, including upcoming committee meetings, and most importantly - target graduation date!
Proposed Classes: the classes I've taken so far, divided into major and minor. This is the committee's chance to speak up if they think anything is missing...
Numbered Slides: Professors want to know whether they are sitting though 75 slides, or 20, and are we halfway done or just beginning? So I put the numbers on the slides - #/total. All in all, I ended up with 31 slides, which I think is a reasonable amount for an hour presentation + discussion.
So does this sound about right? Did I miss anything? Anything unecessary?