CS326A - Motion Planning - Organization

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Class meetings: We will meet twice a week during the Winterí08-09 quarter on Mondays and Wednesdays, at 11:00am-12:15pm, in Terman GR156. The course is given for 3 units.

The first three classes will introduce the course, describe basic path planning methods for point robots, and present the key concept of the configuration space of a moving object. I will give these classes.

Subsequent classes will discuss more advanced topics. For most of them, I will introduce the class (approximately 15 min) and students will then make 2 presentations of 30 min each. Each such presentation will describe the content of a research paper that will be available in advance from the class website. Other students should also have read this paper. It is expected that each student's presentation will consist of 20 min of presentation and 10 min question/discussion. For some classes, I will give the entire lecture or I will share the time more evenly with a single student presentation.

Assignments: Each student is expected to do the following work:

-         Attend every class and actively participate in class discussion.

-         Give two presentations. The presentations will be in the form of Powerpoint slides, which will be posted as class notes.

-         Read the papers listed as "required reading" prior to each class. These are the two papers presented in class.

-         Complete two homework assignments. Each assignment will consist of problems and questions aimed at helping students to both get a better grasp of the class material and study issues that we will not have enough time to address in class. These assignments will not be primarily aimed at testing student knowledge, but rather at making students think about issues related to motion planning. The homeworks will be posted on January 28 and February 25, and will be due one week later.

-         Complete the programming project.

There will be no midterm or final exam.

Slide Preparation: During the first week of the quarter, if you plan to take the course for credit, you must send us an email to sign up for two presentations.

For each presentation, your work will consist of the following:
1. Read and understand the paper that you will present. If you have problems understanding parts of the paper, contact us as early as possible.
2. Prepare a set of Powerpoint slides for an approximately 20-min-long presentation. You should not present the entire paper and go into detail for everything. Instead, select key ideas, concepts, and techniques, and focus on them. Adopt a critical view toward the paper. Try to establish relations with previous presentations. Make sure you do not have too many slides.
3. Email us your slides at least 4 working days before the presentation. We will return suggestions. Modify your slides accordingly.
4. Email the final version of the slides to us no later than 8pm on the day before the presentation. We will bring a laptop with the slides on it. We will also post the slides on the class website so that the other students will be able to download them later.

The course websites of 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 contain slides prepared by students. You may look at them for inspiration and import figures and images. Of course, you may also try to find additional information from the web.

Grading: Each homework will count for 10% of the total grade, the project for 50%, and in-class participation (attendance, paper presentation, and contribution to discussion) will count for 30%.