Advice for the CS Oral Qualifying Exam

As you may already know, I'm typing-averse, and even more repetition-averse, so rather than repeatedly typing the same reply to every student who asks me what to do to prepare for their qualifying exam (usually one that includes me on the committee--your mileage may vary when applying my opinions in my absence), I thought I'd put a generic blurb here. (And then repeatedly point students here. C'est la vie.)

Please plan to give 20-minute presentations on each paper, which means 10-15 well-designed slides. We'll probably spend 30-35 minutes on each paper and leave some time for general questions, but actual time will depend on the questions and your ability to answer them. Feel free to have backup slides; we may ask you to use the board, too, as needed. Assuming the typical, you will be asked to skip to the key points/conclusion of the presentation at some point. Look at the speaking tips off my home page if you want presentation advice, and do practice runs with your groupmates and/or advisor.

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