Region 5 Student Poster Competition Rules

Quick Guide

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A. General

Purpose: To improve technical presentation skills of undergraduate IEEE student members.

Levels: Competitions occur at the Local Contest (LC), Area Contest (AC), and Region Contest (RC) levels (in that order). LC involves posters that are evaluated and graded by faculty instructors of undergraduate engineering courses at a local school or by judges appointed by the local school. The local Student Branch or the local HKN Chapter nominates (each can nominate one) a top-ranked poster that has received the highest grade or evaluation in an undergraduate engineering course or in an undergraduate poster competition in the local school to the IEEE Section of that student branch. Oral presentations are required at AC & RC levels. Oral presentations at AC level will be conducted online and at RC level will be conducted in person at the Region 5 Conference. Winners may revise their posters and presentation slides before submission to the next level. Authors of the nominated poster may submit the content of their poster for publications such as the IEEE Potentials magazine, etc.

Eligibility: The entrant must be an undergraduate and an IEEE student member (or pending). Graduation before the AC or RC does not affect eligibility. There can be more than one undergraduate student on the same nominated poster but only one of the students must be specified as the presenter or entrant by the local Student Branch or HKN Chapter. All the authors of the nominated poster must be undergraduate students.

Subject: Posters must cover technical areas within the IEEE.  A nominated poster may address a course project, a senior design group project to which the entrant belongs, or an undergraduate research project to which the entrant belongs, in the fall semester of an academic year or in the spring/summer semester of the last academic year.

B. Regional Contest

Venue: The RC is part of the annual Region 5 Conference.

Entry: Only the top three winners of each AC may enter.

Date: The top three winners of each AC need to email their posters and presentation slides in PDF or PowerPoint format to the RC Chair by the deadline date of March 1.

Prizes: Region 5 and the Institute Life Member Fund provide $1500 prize money, allocated thusly (per poster, not per entrant): First Place, $800; Second Place $500, Third Place $200; plus certificates (entrants) and inscribed plaques (entrants’ schools). The RC Chair may offer additional prizes.

Expenses: The Region 5 Treasurer is to reimburse authorized travel expenses after receiving an entrant’s completed IEEE Regional Expense through IEEE Concur by the deadline of 15 days following the competition date.

C. Area Contest

Date: After approval, the IEEE Section Chair emails the posters and the presentation slides received from its student branches and HKN chapters in PDF or PowerPoint format to the AC Chair by the deadline date of Jan 15. RSAC oversees the area contests to ensure they are concluded by Feb 15.

Entry:  The nominated posters passed to the IEEE Section Chair from the local Student Branches or HKN Chapters need to be those already evaluated and graded to be top-ranked posters in an undergraduate engineering course or in an undergraduate competition.

Prizes: First, second, and third place winners receive $125, $100, and $75, respectively—plus certificates and a reimbursed trip to present and compete in the RC. The AC Chair may award additional prizes.

Area locations:

  • North Area: KS, MO, OK, and Southern IL.
  • West Area: CO, South WY, Southwest ND, West NB, West TX, and Southeast NM.
  • East Area: AR, LA and East TX.
  • South Area: TX (except East & West TX).

D. Local Contest

Venue: The local Student Branch or HKN Chapter selects and nominates one top-ranked LC poster by emailing the entrant or presenter’s name, the top-ranked poster, and the presentation slides in PDF or PowerPoint format to its IEEE Section Chair by Dec 15. After examination and approval by the IEEE Section, the IEEE Section Chair emails the top ranked LC posters (entrants or presenters’ names, posters, and presentation slides in PDF or PowerPoint format) that are received from the student branches or HKN chapters under that IEEE section to the AC Chair by the deadline of Jan 15.

Prizes: An IEEE Section funds its LC prizes for all or some of the nominated top-ranked posters as deemed appropriate by that section. If the IEEE Section has its own established student competition, that competition can continue independent of the Region 5 student poster competition.

E. Contest Chairs

1. Appointments:

  • Area Chair serves as or appoints the AC Chair by the deadline date of Dec 15. The AC Chair appoints judges by the deadline date of Jan 15.
  • Region 5 Conference Chair serves as or appoints the RC Chair in consultation with RSAC by the deadline date of Feb 1. The RC Chair appoints judges who will be attending the Region 5 Conference by the deadline date of March 1.

2. Specific duties of AC and RC Chairs:

  • Solicit and appoint judges (see section G).
  • Explain rules, judging procedure, and score sheet to judges (see section G).
  • Manage distribution of posters and presentation slides among judges.
  • Manage communication with the judges so that all questions, disqualification votes, etc., are handled through the AC/RC Chair.
  • Enforce the rules.
  • Manage presentation or delivery of prizes, plaques, and certificates.
  • Promptly notify the entity Chair (AC Chair notifies the Area Chair and RC Chair notifies the Region Conference Chair) and RSAC of contest outcome.
  • AC Chair Only – Sets up and moderates online presentations (e.g., WebEx, Zoom, or Teams) by entrants preferably on a Saturday between Jan 15 and Feb 15.  Notifies the presenters of the results and the winners of their eligibility for the region contest.

3. Oral Presentations: The AC or RC Chair

  • Briefly explain the rules at start of contest.
  • Introduce entrants before their respective presentations.
  • Fairly enforce the presentation rules.
  • Give judges 5 minutes time for Q/A and 5 minutes time after Q/A to complete their assessments.
  • Time presentations, Q/A, and assessments and terminate if going over the allocated time (allocated presentation time at AC level is 10 minutes and allocated presentation time at RC level is 15 minutes)
  • The AC Chair Only – Sets up and moderates online meeting (e.g., WebEx, Zoom, or Teams) for presentations to be conducted by screen sharing to the judges.

F. Presentation Rules

  • Presentation slides not in PDF or PowerPoint format will be disqualified. Presentations without a title/author/affiliation slide and an originality/acknowledgements slide will be disqualified. The originality/acknowledgements slide should state the originality of the work, listing specific contributions of each author, and naming faculty advisor or mentor if any.
  • It is highly advised that the following key information are included in the presentations: introduction consisting of problem statement/objective/motivation, stating difference between work done and previous works, solution developed, results obtained, conclusion and references. Also, limiting text of slides to only a few words per line and no more than 5 bulleted items per slide and using graphics/pictures liberally will enhance the effectiveness of presentation slides.
  • It is the responsibility of presenters to match their number of slides with the allocated presentation time. Presentations will be terminated by the AC/RC Chair when going over the allocated time even though the slides are not finished and a 15-point penalty will be deducted from the score.
  • Only judges may ask questions and in the interest of fairness, judges will ask questions in the same category to all presenters with minimal deviation. 

G. Guidelines and Criteria for Judges and Judging

Judges: The AC/RC Chair identifies and appoints 3 to 5 judges who are either IEEE Senior Members or IEEE Fellows.

Judging Criteria: The criteria are listed on the score sheet provided by the AC/RC Chair.

Winner selection: Based on the score sheet, each judge will give a score (100 points max) to a poster/presentation according to the criteria listed. The judges’ scores will be tallied and the winners are determined by these tallies. Judges vote to break a tie.

Disqualifications: Only the AC/RC Chair or the judges may report a disqualification issue (for only explicit reasons given in the rules). A majority vote of the judges will decide if a disqualification is warranted and the AC/RC Chair will break any tie vote on disqualification among the judges.

Judge Guidelines: Score each criterion on a 1 to 10 scale; scores of 2-4 weak, 5-7 normal, and 8-10 superior.

At oral presentations, judges should ask probing questions. Judges should add comments and constructive criticisms to score sheets to help presenters improve technical presentation skills. The judges scoring sheets should be provided to presenters once the contest is concluded.

H. Disputed Decisions

Presenters may dispute contest results for technical errors only (e.g., score sheet arithmetic or a time limit breach not reflected in scores). Absent any technical errors, the decision of the judges is final. Presenters may appeal (the judges’ response to a disputed decision) to the AC/RC Chair. The decision of the AC/RC Chair is final.

I. Judging Criteria

Each criterion listed on the score sheet is to be scored on a 1 to 10 scale; scores of 2-4 weak, 5-7 normal, and 8-10 superior.