Learning in this course depends on open collaboration and support and respect for one another. To develop professional competencies through project work, you will engage in a variety of learning activities with peers, course instructor, and faculty advisor.

The project work will unfold iteratively, with regular feedback loops. It will encompass:

  • Research and development of computing artifacts that accomplish the project/thesis objectives
  • Writing of your project paper or thesis manuscript that describes your work and outcomes.

Your project work will also include:

  • Collaboration with peers <!-_- * Reflections on your best possible self, academic commitment, openness to experience, and computing professional identity —>
  • Regular interactions with and feedback from your faculty advisor and course instructor.

Note: Whether you are in the Master’s Project or Master’s Thesis course, we will refer to your work in the course as project work. The final artifact that document your project work is a project paper for the Master’s Project course or thesis manuscript for the Master’s Thesis course.

Class Communication (priceless)

Discord platform and channels are used for general or topic-focused discussions (texting, voice, and video chat) among all class members. Zoom sessions are used for the scheduled class meetings. We’ll use, discover, and share tools that these platforms have to maximize the effectiveness of our communication.

Class Meetings (15%)

The course semester has 15 weeks with five 2-hour scheduled class meetings. These class meetings are structured to create a learning environment supportive of your project work. Your responsibility is to be on time, participate in class discussion, share your progress, give feedback, ask questions, and reflect on your learning and project work.

Writing Artifacts (15%)

Writing and revising drafts of your project paper or thesis manuscript is an iterative process with three milestones:

  • Outline (5%)
  • First draft (5%)
  • Almost final draft (5%).

You’ll develop these drafts using the Overleaf platform and the Overleaf project set up for your project paper/thesis manuscript. The Overleaf project will be shared with your faculty advisor for easy communication and collaboration. The course instructor will guide you through this writing process and evaluate the three instances of drafting your project paper/thesis manuscript.

Work Progress (10%)

Weekly progress outlines using GitHub Kanban project board and cards (and other means) will help you plan your work, prepare for your meetings with your faculty advisor, and manage project development activities. Your faculty advisor will assess your work progress.

Presentation (10%)

You’ll present your master’s project or thesis to your peers, faculty advisors, and other guests. Thesis committee members will participate in the presentation of the master’s theses. Presentations are open to the public and announced to the department community. A presentation announcement includes project/thesis title and author, presentation date, location, and abstract. Copies of the announcement are posted on the 1st floor and communicated via email to all graduate students and department faculty members.

Computing Artifacts (20%)

The GitHub org associated with this course, https://github.com/master-projects-theses hosts the remote repositories of the project/thesis computing artifacts you develop and manage using GitHub platform tools (e.g., Kanban project board, issue tracker) and git feature branch workflow. Your faculty advisor will evaluate this component of your project.

Project Paper or Thesis Manuscript (30%)

Master’s Project: Your faculty advisor will evaluate your project paper.

Master’s Thesis: Your faculty advisor and thesis committee members will evaluate your thesis manuscript.