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Important Dates and What to Hand In

Project Teams 2/1 -
Prospectus 2/8 15%
Midpoint Review 3/01 5%
Poster Session 5/3 15%
Report 5/5 (edited: 5/10 midnight) 65%

Project Teams

Teams should consist of 1-3 people. In addition, if you have a project in mind, please indicate briefly (1–2 sentences) what you are thinking. We have included a list of possible projects at the end of this document although you are not required to choose from these.



Your reserach prospectus will contain an overview of the research problem, your hypothesis1, first pass at related work, a description of how you plan to complete the project, and metrics to decide if it worked. A good prospectus is basically the skeleton of the full report.

Your prospectus should follow the example:

It is highly recommended that you come to office hours to discuss project ideas before writing the prospectus.

1This is science after all.


  1. Rename the filename of your prospectus to the following format, last names should be in alphabetical order. prospectus_<lastname1>_<lastname2>.._<lastnameN>.pdf
  2. Upload the file by 2/8 11:59PM EST

Midpoint Review

The midpoint review will be an in-class exercise where teams will present and receive feedback/suggestions in a “speed-dating” style session. Details will be released closer to the session.

Meet with your counterpart for 20 minutes - 10 minutes per team. One team will describe the goal of their project and the current status and challenges, and the other team will listen and provide comments.

For the listening team, ask and provide answers to the following questions:

  1. What opportunities/changes that make this work useful and timely?
  2. Why existing approaches fail to make use of these opportunities?
  3. What is the hypothesis?
  4. What are the concrete steps to validate the hypothesis?
  5. What suggestions did you, as the listener, provide?

Poster Session

Your team will prepare and present a project poster at the end-of-course poster session. This gives you an opportunity to present a short demo of your work and show what you have accomplished in the class!



You will prepare a conference-style report on your project with maximum length of 15 pages (10 pt font or larger, one or two columns, 1 inch margins, single or double spaced – more is not better.) Your report should expand upon your prospectus and introduce and motivate the problem your project addresses, describe related work in the area, discuss the elements of your solution, and present results that measure the behavior, performance, or functionality of your system (with comparisons to other related systems as appropriate.)

Because this report is the primary deliverable upon which you will be graded, do not treat it as an afterthought. Plan to leave at least a week to do the writing, and make sure your proofread and edit carefully!


  1. Rename the filename of your report to the following format, last names should be in alphabetical order. report_<lastname1>_<lastname2>.._<lastnameN>.pdf
  2. Upload the file by 11:59PM EST

What is Expected

Good class projects can vary dramatically in complexity, scope, and topic. The only requirement is that they be related to something we have studied in this class and that they contain some element of research – e.g., that you do more than simply engineer a piece of software that someone else has described or architected. To help you determine if your idea is of reasonable scope, we will arrange to meet with each group several times throughout the semester.