Main / Project
Some information about the first project...
There are six phases there's something due every week. Its important that you stay on top of it. Once you start to slip, its a slippery slope...
Some ground rules...
Milestone 0 - Pick a Topic
Before Monday (Feb 2), you will need to pick a general topic and send me email. (Preferably with enough warning that I can think about it before class time). The idea is to work with you to come up with a set of readings and initial ideas for the next phases.
At this point, your topic won't necessarily be cast in stone. In particular, we might try to convince people to pick topics related to what other people are doing.
If you've done some reading already, or thinking about specifics, tell me about that as well.
You can either send this all to me by email, or put it on a wiki page. If you do the latter, send me email to make sure I look at the right place.
Milestone 1 - Define a Topic and Read up on it
For the week of Feb 2-Feb 6, your goal will be to learn enough about your topic that you can formulate a good project proposal. As part of Milestone 0, I will suggest some things to read, but you will need to find others (especially if you're an 838 student).
By Friday, Feb 6th, you will be required to turn in a summary of what you've read, as well as some initial ideas as to what you think a good project on this topic will be. This is important, since we will meet to discuss what you want to do.
During this week, your main task is reading and thinking. We will also have some "online discussions" where people who are reading about similar topics can combine their thoughts.
We will have less than normal amounts of lecture reading this week so you can focus on project reading.
Note: everyone must do Milestone 1 themselves, although it will involve discussions with other people with similar interests. Even if you don't work together on the project, you all should discuss project ideas.
Milestone 2 - Define your project and make a plan
By Friday, February 13th, you must have a project proposal and plan complete, written up, and approved. During this second week, your task is to define your project, refine the idea, make a plan for what you are going to do over the next few weeks, and convince me that this is a good plan.
The format of the project proposals will be provided later.
As part of this you will not only need to write up a project proposal, but also meet/discuss it with me and refine it until you get the OK. This means you can't just write it at the last minute.
It is important to get the proposal done/approved this week so that you can really get rolling on it.
If you want to do some initial experimentation during this week, that's OK. But this week is really about planning and preparing.
Some suggestions for planning:
You should also use this week to assess implementation decisions. Are there libraries or tools you want to use? This is particularly important if we need to work to make sure they are available.
Once you get the proposal approved, you're on your way!
Milestone 3 - Initial Status Report
Hopefully, during this third week, you'll have made all of the choices in terms of tools, and have some initial signs of life of things working.
It was suggested to me by another faculty member that when students are asked to make regular postings to blogs/wikis about their project status, they do better (there are many reasons to believe this). So, rather than asking you to write an explicit status report, I ask that you:
You should probably continue to add to your project reading blog as you read more.
Milestone 4 - Second Status Report and Updated Proposal
On Friday, February 27th, you will be required to submit another status report describing your progress to date. By this point, you should have a pretty clear idea of what you are going to actually accomplish by the end, so you will also be required to submit a revised proposal that gives an idea of what you really expect to get done for this project so we can begin to plan how to evaluate it.
Depending on how the project blogging experience goes in week 3, blogging your progress might take the place of explicit status reports.
Milestone 5 - Demonstrations
On Friday, March 6th, you will demonstrate your project. Basically, the main work should be done. The idea is that here is where we see what you've done, saving some extra time for doing evaluation and writing things up.
Milestone 6 - Final Writeups
Final writeups for the projects will be due on Friday, March 13th. Turn stuff in so you can take a Spring Break without worrying about this class project.