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Final Project Paper

Papers should be written using the SIGCHI format. Templates in Microsoft Word, LaTeX, and Apple Pages are available here. Use the “HCI Archive Format.”

Please remove the two lines of text from the copyright block: “CHI 2009, April 4–9, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Copyright 2009 ACM 978-1-60558-246-7/09/04...$5.00.”

You can and should use your proposal write-up as a starting point for your paper. (In some cases, the proposal write-up is a good start on a paper already.) In general, you should re-use all of your previous work (including the proposal) as is appropriate given how your project actually took shape.

Here are specific guidelines about what the paper should include. There are guidelines for everyone in the class, and then separate instructions for those in the undergraduate and graduate sections. Finally, there are submit instructions.

Undergrads please note: you are welcome to follow the grad guidelines, because they require higher academic standards. This is optional, and you will not be penalized if you ignore this.


  • Write an Abstract that briefly introduces your project and your findings. It should be approx. 10 lines long (same as the template). Mention the robotics concepts that are employed.
  • Include some Author Keywords. These are keywords that describe your paper, not yourself.
  • Delete the ACM Classification Keywords.
  • Include major sections named INTRODUCTION, PROJECT DESCRIPTION, ANALYSIS OF RESULTS, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, and REFERENCES. You may have additional sections as you see appropriate, but it is unlikely that it is wise to remove any of these sections.
    • The INTRODUCTION corresponds to the Problem Statement of your earlier proposals.
    • The PROJECT DESCRIPTION corresponds to the earlier Problem Analysis + Deliverable and Demonstration + Inputs & Outputs sections. You should describe what you built, how it works, and what I/O you used. Please be specific enough that I understand how the robotics ideas were actually applied.
    • The ANALYSIS OF RESULTS section should present conclusions. How do you know that your thing worked? Ideally, you have some metric of succcess—if so, present the metric and how well you did against it here. If you don't have a formal metric, still provide some kind of qualitative analysis discussion.
    • The DISCUSSION section is more free form. Generally, I'd like to know what you learned about the problem here. Focus on your own experience with the problem—don't worry if you learned something that others might already know. The goal of this project was not for you to make an original contribution to knowledge (of course that would be nice if it happened, but that was not the expectation). Instead, the goal was for you to learn something about the problem domain. So, focus on your own learning: what you discovered; what was surprising.
    • In the CONCLUSION, summarize your results and give any forward pointers to new work.
    • Include an ACKNOWLEDGMENTS section. Please include the following statement (text between the quotes; remove the quotes):
“The work described in this paper was conducted as part of a Spring 2012 robotics course, taught in the Computer Science department of the University of Massachusetts Lowell by Prof. Fred Martin.”
You may additionally mentioning anyone who helped you or otherwise encouraged you.
Please note that in the U.S. English spelling, “Acknowledgments” does not have an “e” between the g and the m.
Finally, if you have no other content in your Acknowledgments section than the statement above, please change the heading to ACKNOWLEDGMENT (because there is only one of them).
  • In the REFERENCES section, include citations for any work that you used in the creation of your project (or discovered afterward as part of a literature search).

Undergraduate Students

  • The paper should be 2 to 3 pages long, including diagrams.

Graduate Students

  • The paper should be 3 to 4 pages long, including diagrams.
  • You are required to connect your work with existing work in the field. Use the ACM Digital Library to find related work (if you haven't located it already), and in the Introduction, mention how your work relates to and/or builds upon prior work.
As previously stated, you are not held to the standard of creating something wholly new, so don't worry if you don't have a great story for “extending” prior work. Building a relationship to existing work is adequate.
You should have three to five citations. Copy the citation format in the SIGCHI template.

To Submit

To turn in the paper:

  • Name paper with the author(s)’ CS username(s) and an abbreviated version of your title, and save it as a PDF (preferred) or DOC file. E.g., fredm_a_sample_project.pdf.
  • Edit your wiki project page markup to add the Attach: tag below your name and date, like this:
    '''Fred Martin''' \\
     December 12, 2011

  • Save the markup. The Attach tag will turn into a link for uploading your paper.
  • Upload it, and you are done.