Throughout their time with the CDT, our students participate in fortnightly journal clubs.
Keeping up with the literature is a vital component of a doctorate. An often under-valued aspect is expert discussion of material during studies - this component creates a space for that and exemplifies how students in a cohort can help each other.
In the First Year, the Journal Club series starts with instructional sessions covering what a Journal Club is, how to critically read a paper, etc. Following this, the journal club operates as a conventional reading group, initially covering (largely foundational) journal papers suggested by SLT academics.
The club mixes student presentations with reading of relevant literature relating to the research streams. Students will make short presentations on each paper discussed to train them in transferring knowledge and to gain a deeper understanding of work by others.
In every journal club session the cohort meets to discuss one journal or conference paper which has previously been circulated. The purpose of the discussion is to understand the paper and explore how it fits within the field, comparing the approach with alternatives in the literature. In every session one student introduces the key aspects and contributions of the paper under review. All other students prepare a bullet point commentary slide for discussion. The choice of journal club presenter cycles round the student cohort, with the next presenter being selected by the students prior to each session.
In later years, students regularly attend the sessions of at least two existing journal clubs / reading groups within the University (likely within the Department of Computer Science but they could be further afield). At least one journal club / reading group will be from the speech field and one will be from the NLP field. There will also be occasional CDT-organised sessions focusing on important, new papers.