CSE 379 Senior Project[3]


Mooi Choo Chuah (Fall 2017)

Current Catalog Description

Design, implementation, and evaluation of a computer science capstone project conducted by student teams working from problem definition to testing and implementation; written progress reports supplemented by oral presentations. Prerequisite: senior standing and CSE 130 (taken concurrently).




Students will have:

  1. Take a real-world problem through the project definition, planning, design, implementation, and documentation phases of the software development cycle.
  2. Apply principles of software engineering
  3. Design and conduct experiments and analyze data to ensure conformance to technical specifications and user requirements.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to present and communicate technical material through a formal poster presentation and project demonstration.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a project team.
  6. Understand the pros, cons, application process, and opportunities associated with graduate school.
  7. Understand the importance of professional development through a career session with alumni.


CSE 379 substantially supports the following student enabled characteristics:

A. An ability to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline

B. An ability to analyze a problem and identify and define the computing requirements appropriate to its solution

C. An ability to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based system process, component, or program to meet desired needs

D. An ability to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal

F. An ability to communicate effectively and with a range of audiences

G. An abiity to analyze the local and global impact of computing on individual organizations, and society

I. An ability to use current techniques, skills, and tools necessary for computing practices

J. An ability to apply mathematical foundations, algorithmic principles, and computer science theory in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoffs involved in design choices

K. An ability to apply design and development principles in the construction of software systems of varying complexity

Major Topics Covered in the Course

  1. Review of the software development cycle
  2. Making a technical presentation/technical poster
  3. Intellectual Property
  4. Graduate School
  5. Career Session

Assessment Plan for the Course:

There are four different mechanisms used to assess student's performance:

  1. Course instructor assessment based upon in-class presentations and interim project report deliverables.
  2. Project adviser assessment based upon weekly progress reports, interim project deliverables, the poster presentation, the final report, and project documentation.
  3. Alumni judge assessment during the poster presentation.
  4. Peer assessment through in-class presentations and the poster session.

Details on each of these now follows:

  • Each student group (typically 2 students) identifies a project with an associated adviser who acts as the group's primary supervisor for the semester. The course instructor serves as a secondary supervisor. Groups are required to submit weekly progress reports that are signed by the group adviser and provided to the course instructor for review.
  • Groups submit interim reports for project definition, planning, and design. These are graded by the project adviser and instructor. Feedback is also provided for each of these deliverables based upon in-class presentations by the student groups. In addition to these presentations, students also provide short in-class updates so that they were making an in-class presentation approximately every other week. Mid-way through the semester,when groups present, they do so using an evolving version of their technical poster. This provides a forum where the instructor (and other students) provide feedback not only on the project, but poster design, layout, etc. These mechanisms provide continuous feedback on the perceived group progress throughout the semester.
  • The course culminates in a technical poster presentation and project demonstration by the groups to alumni volunteers who serve as judges, CSE faculty, and other students. The alumni judges evaluate the posters and projects, and these results are used for making an award for "Outstanding Senior Design Project". The CSE 379 students themselves also do a peer review of their fellow students' projects, and these results are used for making a "Peer's Choice Award". Summaries of both of these evaluations are provided as input to the adviser in assigning the final project grade.

The last student deliverable is a final report and documentation. This is reviewed and graded by the student adviser, and used in assigning the final grade to the course.

How Data in the Course are Used to Assess Program Outcomes:(unless adequately covered already in the assessment discussion under Criterion 4)

Each year, I use the above data from the assessment plan for the course in my self-assessment of the course. This report is reviewed, in turn, by the Curriculum Committee.

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