This page describes the Phase 2 of the MInf project (MPP2). This is a course that is taken by MInf students in Year 5. In this course, you do the bulk of work on your project, write a comprehensive report, and give an oral presentation of your work.

Some general information is given below, for more exact details see the DRPS page for the course.

Course Resources

Course Structure

There are five components to this course:

  1. Project group meetings. There will be three of these over the two semesters. These will work exactly the same as in MPP and MPP1 last year.
  2. Individual meetings with your supervisor. Most of the guidance in this course will come from your project supervisor, and you should meet with them regularly (e.g., once every week or two) throughout the term.
  3. Submitting an interim progress report, which will be due early in the 2nd semester (see calendar)
  4. Writing your project report
  5. Giving a presentation based on your work

Assessment

This course is assessed entirely on the basis of your report, which will be read and assigned a numerical mark by two independent readers. The mark will be awarded on the basis of the MInf Project Report Marking Guidelines.

Interim Progress Report

To provide a check on progress, and as preparation for writing the final report, students must submit an interim progress report that outlines the work you have done so far and what remains to be done. The report should briefly describe your project and its goals, your results and accomplishments so far, what remains to be done, and a timeline for the final semester of your project. It is expected that the report will be about ten pages. You should take the opportunity to write this interim report such that it may be suitable for inclusion in your final report.

The report should also contain a section level skeleton of the final report. You are certainly allowed to make changes to this skeleton when you write your final report, but the exercise of thinking about this skeleton should be useful to you in your planning.

Your supervisor will read and comment on your interim report, either orally or in writing. The report will not be marked. It is intended as a tool for you to help you make sure that you are on track.

The report should be submitted to the ITO (see project calendar, above).

Your Final Report

Report Structure

It is typical for reports to be between fifty and seventy pages long. There is no maximum length. Your report should contain:

In addition, the report sometimes contains appendices in which relevant program listings, circuit diagrams, check plots, formal proofs etc. are included.

Links: informal guidance on report writing, for UG4 projects; NEW! guidance on bibliography entries

It is recommended that you arrange for your supervisor to read and comment on a full draft of the project report well in advance of the deadline. Ideally you would have a full draft ready at least two weeks in advance, so you have plenty of time to make any modifications that your supervisor suggests.

Word Processing

The project report should be professional and tidy, and you should use a spelling checker program. That said, you should not spend a large amount of time on word processing. The report's readers are mainly concerned with the technical quality of the content.

The recommended word processing system is LaTeX; instructions and document class files are here. Use the MPP2skeleton.tex style file but please replace the line \project{{\bf MInf Project (Part 2) Report}} with \project{{\bf MInf Project (Phase 2) Report}} (i.e., replace the word "Part" with "Phase").

Printer output must be paid for, as usual. However, your University print and copy account will be credited with a small sum to help compensate for the project printing. Please make use of previewing facilities to check drafts. The project report should be printed on both sides of the page. You do not need a blank page between chapters but please start each chapter on a right-hand page.

Submitting the Project report

Two comb-bound hard copies of the report, with front and back covers, are to be submitted to the ITO office by the deadline (see the project calendar). Please submit them directly to a member of ITO staff rather than posting them in the submission box. The submitted report must be accompanied by a signed "Own Work Declaration" and a signed "Project Copyright Permission Letter".

A "Project Submission Pack" that includes everything you need to submit your project, will be provided by the ITO in the period before submission.

Link: Information sheet from project submission pack.

Printers are a heavily utilised resource near the submission deadline, so you should plan to use a photocopier, for instance in the Main Library, to create one of the copies. The colour printers are a particular bottleneck. Please try to avoid printing large numbers of monochrome pages on the colour printer. The binder is another bottleneck: expect a queue throughout the day of project submission, and don't wait until the last minute!

Submitting Project Directories

At or before the submission deadline for your project you will also be required to submit your project using the following form.

Link: project submission web form (Ignore the fact that the title is "UG4 PROJECT SUBMISSION FORM" rather than "MPP2 SUBMISSION FORM".)

This requires you to nominate a "project directory" that contains appropriate supporting evidence for the project examiners, and to provide the location of a pdf file containing your project report. The project directory should contain sufficient additional material to allow the project examiners to come to a decision on matters such as: level of completion of the project, the quality of the project and the amount of work required to complete the project.

The marking guidelines and form used to grade projects are based entirely on the content of the report. The additional material will be used to assess the accuracy of claims in the report.

Projects often build on work previously carried out, in some cases re-using code and data from earlier projects. We would like your project materials to be available for further use in research, private study or education, if requested. However, if you decide that you do not want your project materials re-used, please tick the relevant box.

Once you graduate, your Informatics computing account will be retained for a period of up to one year. You will be guaranteed access to the account for a period of at least three months after graduation; after that period access may be withdrawn without notice. You should make any personal backup before you leave or before the three months grace period has ended, as after that time all the files in your home directory will be deleted and will not be recoverable.

Penalties for late submission

It is essential that you submit your report on time. The penalty for late submission is high. It is your responsibility to allow an adequate margin for problems which might delay your submission of a report. This includes, but is not limited to, such things as computer failure (whether your own or a University facility), printer failure or queue congestion, loss or destruction of data.

The mark for the project (out of 100) will be reduced in the event of late submission according to the usual University scale. That is to say, 5 marks will be deducted for each working day (Monday to Friday) up to a maximum of five working days. No submissions are allowed beyond the five working day limit.

Any case of mitigating circumstances (e.g., illness) must be explained to your Personal Tutor at the earliest opportunity. In no circumstance will any extension of deadline, or other a priori allowance, be made for late submission. Where there are mitigating circumstances, your Personal Tutor will present the case to the Board of Examiners, who have sole discretion to rescind any penalty.

Project presentations

After you submit your project report, you will give a 30-minute presentation of your project to the markers and perhaps one more member of staff attending the session, in or around week 1 of the Examination Period (about 3-4 weeks after semester 2 ends). Alternatively presentations may be arranged in the week immediately following project submission. (Refer to the project calendar for more precise information.) You can assume that the second marker is likely to have read your report and may raise specific questions. The focus should be on a high level description of your goals and your results, and not just repetition of sections of the report. You may include a practical demonstration where appropriate, but this is not required. However, your presentation should make clear how you have evaluated your work.


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