DRP Presentation Days
Below you will find information about the DRP Presentation Days, how to schedule your talk, and resources like tips for giving a good math talk.
DRP Talks are about communicating math to your peers!
The goal here is to communicate a flavor of your reading project in a 10-minute talk (either on chalkboard or slides) to other participants or those interested in doing a DRP in the future. This is great practice for communicating mathematics in a very low-stakes and friendly environment.
DRP Talks are not meant to be lectures!
The talks can be as informal (e.g. working out a few examples drawn on the board) or as formal (e.g. state a theorem and demonstrate an example of it) as you’d like, as long as the audience leaves with some idea of the kind of mathematics that you read about throughout the semester.
Mentees: click here to schedule your DRP Talk by November 22nd! 👈
The Fall 2022 DRP Presentation Days are as follows.
- Tuesday, November 29th:
- Session 0: 1:25pm – 2:15pm in Ford B80 (at UMRS)
- Wednesday, November 30th:
- Session 1: 5:00pm – 6:20pm in Vincent 570
- Thursday, December 1st:
- Session 2: 12:20pm – 1:10pm in Vincent 570 (at the Math Club)
- Session 3: 3:30pm – 4:25pm in Vincent 209
We ask that students stay for the entire session, as it’s a great opportunity to support your peers and learn some interesting mathematics. However, we understand if you have course conflicts.
If you are unable to present at any of the sessions above: please send us an email. There are other opportunities, like at the Math Club or URMS, where you can talk about your DRP reading.
Tips for a good math talk:
Plan your talk early!
- Don’t assume background: remember that your audience did not do the same reading!
- Motivate the subject: why is studying that object or theorem interesting?
- Simplify the details: don’t get bogged in the most general, nitty-gritty form of a theorem.
- Skip the proofs: unless your only goal is to demonstrate a beautiful proof.
- And most importantly: do NOT improvise!
Examples, Examples, Examples!
Examples are a great way to communicate mathematics. For instance, you can:
- Begin with a small example to motivate your talk.
- Draw a picture of an example to help your audience visualize an object.
- Use a concrete example as the definition of an object or the application of a theorem.
- End the talk with a real world example or an instance of an unsolved problem!
Practice with your mentor!
Practice is the most important thing you can do to ensure that your talk is successful. Make sure that you fully understand the whole content of your talk. Think about your handwriting and board organization when you practice. Since the DRP talks are so short, you can and should practice the talk at least twice, and at least once with your mentor.
Write accurately for the deaf, speak clearly for the blind!
Some in the audience will be bad at listening to you, some will be bad at following your boardwork. Try your best to accomodate both groups and everyone will enjoy your talk.
Past Presentations 👈
Here are more tips from Stanford’s DRP presentation guidelines.
Speak with your mentor to plan your talk.
Begin with a quick outline of the talk.
Give some basic definitions, present one or two interesting examples, and/or give one or two theorems.
Don’t assume knowledge from the audience; after studying something for a whole quarter sometimes things are obvious to you but may not be to everyone else. Be careful not to use specialized definitions that others in the room will not know. A good talk will feel like you are assuming your audience is very stupid: you need to write more, repeat more, and explain more than you think you should have to.
Give people a reason to care. Try to relate what you are talking about to other mathematical objects that the audience might be familiar with or give some applications, perhaps even to the real world. In general, be considerate of your audience, and remember that the purpose of a talk is for those listening to learn something.
Write legibly. You’ll need to write bigger than you probably expect! Try writing out part of your talk on a blackboard and then go sit at the back of the room to see how readable it is.
Never erase what you have just written.
Err on the side of writing more on the board in the form of complete sentences, thoughts, pictures. Use words like “Definition,” “Theorem,” “Proof,” “Step 1,” on the blackboard. Write down definitions and statements in full English sentences (not just formulae)!
Design the talk so that someone who comes in half way through can get the gist from what is on the board.
Use the blackboard like a sheet of paper: start in the top left. On long blackboards, cutting the board in two by drawing a vertical line often helps.
Face the audience as much as possible. Try not to stand between the public and what you have just written on the blackboard.
If you’re using slides: don’t just read your slides! It’s best to have as few words on your slides as possible (use them for diagrams, visualizations, etc). If you want a large chunk of words to be both spoken and shown, consider writing those sections on a blackboard; the audience will digest it better that way.
When answering questions, think for at least ten seconds first.