CS 490 Design Exhibition

Spring 2016
Wednesdays 4:30 pm
Nguyen Engineering 4201

Course Description:

This course provides computer science majors with an opportunity to work on a semester-long project or research paper that is more substantial than the projects or papers assigned in other CS classes. To achieve this creative goal, students may work in teams or individually. CS faculty members can also serve as mentors of the project or research paper and the effort will be coordinated by the course instructor.

Milestones throughout the semester must be met for successful completion of the course. These include submission of initial design specification documents, bi-weekly progress reports and presentations, development of assessment criteria to measure student success, final project/paper report with accompanying software artifacts, and a formal presentation of the project/research paper at the end of the semester.

For BS CS students, this course can be used as both a CS-related and CS-Senior elective. For ACS majors, this course can be used to satisfy the CS 400-level course requirement.

Course Outcomes:

(1) Students will complete an original scholarly or creative project by:

    - articulating and refining a scholarly question by following ethical principles
    - choosing an appropriate discovery process for scholarly inquiry
    - gathering evidence appropriate to the question
    - applying scholarly conventions appropriate to inquiry and reporting
    - assessing the vailidy of key assumptions and evidence
    - and situating the inquiry within a broader context

(2) Students will communicate knowledge from an original scholarly or creative project


C or better in CS 321/421 (Software Requirements and Design Modeling), CS 483 (Analysis of Algorithms) and two other CS 400-level courses; senior standing. Students may also take this course with permission of the instructor.

Completion of CS 390 prior to taking this class is highly recommended.


Prof. Pearl Y. Wang
Computer Science Department
Office:  Nguyen Engineering - ENGR 4300
Phone:   703-993-1530
E-mail:   pwang at cs.gmu.edu
Office Hours:   Wed 1:30 pm - 4 pm;  other times available by appointment

Course Requirements & Grading:

The course grade is based on three components:
(1) Class participation: 20%
Bi-weekly progress reports, demos and/or presentations

(2) Deliverables: 60%

20% - Project design/research plan documents, including regular revisions

40% - A final project report including documented software and/or project-generated artifacts if a project is to be implemented. For a research paper, a final document that shows evidence of an original contribution that includes comparison to previous work in the literature must be submitted.

Please note that students will only receive a final grade of C or better in this class only if a project or the research paper is completed.

(3) Final presentation: 20%

Students in the class must give a final presentation of their projects to the public.
All coursework must be performed in accordance to GMU and CS Department Academic Integrity and Honor Code Policies at http://cs.gmu.edu/wiki/pmwiki.php/HonorCode/HomePage. These policies will be strictly enforced.
If you have a documented learning disability or other condition that may affect academic performance you should: (1) make sure this documentation is on file with the Office of Disability Services (SUB I, Rm. 4205; 993-2474; http://ods.gmu.edu/) to determine the accommodations you need; and (2) talk with the instructor to discuss your accommodation needs.

Tentative Schedule:

Dates Topics Deliverables
 Jan 20     Course Introduction & Project/Research Development Methods  
 Jan 27  Discussion of Success Metrics and Assessment Criteria  
 Feb 3  Student Project/Research Plan:
 Short Proposal Description & Presentation
 Homework 1 
 Feb 10  Student Project/Research Plan:
 Design/Report Document & Presentation
 Homework 2 
 Feb 17  Evaluation/Feedback Discussions  
 Feb 24  Student Progress Report  Homework 3 
 Mar 2    
 Mar 9  Spring Break  
 Mar 16  Student Progress Report: Preliminary Demos  Homework 4 
 Mar 23    
 Mar 30  Student Progress Report  Homework 5 
 Apr 6    
 Apr 13  Student Presentation: Practice Run: Demos or Results  Homework 6 
 Apr 20    
 Apr 27  Last class meeting  Final Reports 
 May 3(?)
 May 4(?)
 Exam Week:
 Final Presentations & Demos

Important Dates:

Last day to add:  January 26, 2016
Last day to drop: January 26, 2016 (no tuition penalty)
Final day to drop: February 19, 2016
Last day of selective withdrawal: March 25, 2016

Spring recess: March 7 - 13, 2016
Last day of classes: May 2, 2016

Final Examination (scheduled): TBD

Created: 15 Dec 2015
P.Y. Wang