In order to graduate, each graduate student must complete either COSC880 graduate project or COSC897 graduate thesis. A graduate project is a 3-credit course that must be taken by a student with a graduate faculty. The following policies and procedures must be followed by a graduate student and must be insured by the graduate faculty.
A graduate project (COSC880) serves the purpose of providing applied skills to the student. That means, graduate project should be focused on implementation and learning skills for the student. The graduate project can also be based on survey of current topics in a given field of study and write a paper for publication. Graduate faculty plays a role of training the student to write a proposal, analyze a problem, collect requirements for a problem, design, implement, test, and demonstrate a chosen problem.
Many types of topics can be chosen to conduct a graduate project. The graduate faculty is responsible to offer such project based on his/her research interests and need to enhance the student's applied skill in a chosen topic in computer science. A project should be based on some programming implementation and a computer application that provides the student with applied skills. Some projects such as survey papers, analytical studies that may result in paper publications are also allowed. Topics and projects already done by the student in other courses must be avoided. The graduate faculty is the best judge for making such decisions before accepting for a project study.
Allow to include conceptual analysis of literature or software which requires systhesis, integration, and critical analysis of sources (for example, survey papers). The project report in such cases should be in a publishable paper format.
A graduate student must initiate a graduate project proposal in collaboration with a graduate faculty. A graduate student can only start a project after completion of 21 credits in the graduate program or the student is graduating during a semester in which he/she is expected to complete all courses towards the degree. The graduate student must write this proposal in consent with the graduate faculty and approval. The student must submit this proposal to the graduate faculty and the faculty in turn will submit it to the graduate program director for approval. The graduate committee must review each proposal and notify the graduate faculty about its decision. The graduate program director must coordinate the entire process. The proposal must be given to the director at least one week before the committee's meeting. The proposal must be written in accordance with the guidelines provided in Section 4.3. The graduate program director must discuss the proposal with the committee and process it for approval.
A project proposal written for course COSC880 must be approved based on the following conditions.
1. Style, format, readability, and understandability of the proposal (if the graduate committee can not understand the proposal, it is unlikely that the student will understand it and do a good job in implementation!
2. Technical content and merit of the proposal.
3. Topics to be studied can not be trivial and already studied in other courses taken by the student.
4. The student finished 21 credits in graduate courses or graduating in the semester in which the graduate project will be registered.
The committee will evaluate proposals based on the above three measures and provide a feedback to the corresponding faculty and student. This process is merely to insure quality of projects and teach our students to write good proposals, clearly define projects, understand project motivation, and consider feasible implementations to complete their projects.
All international students must register their project during the first week of semester. That means, they must get their project approved by graduate committee before the semester starts, preferably in the previous semester. Domestic students can register their project within six weeks of the semester. A special permit from Ms. Joan Lang is required to register for this course, which can be only given after the project proposal is approved by the graduate committee.
1. Student must initiate contact with the instructor first.
2. Student and instructor, jointly must develop a proposal which serves as the syllabus for the course.
The proposal must not overlap with the regular courses offered in the program.
The proposal must specify the work done by the student, including reading, paper preparation, project, lab work, etc.
The proposal must specify the evaluation and grading methods. Note that COSC695 and COSC880 must be graded with a letter grade and each counts for 3 credits.
3. The proposal must be submitted to the graduate committee for approval within the six week period during the regular semester for domestic students, and for international students, it must be submitted in the previous semester as mentioned before; in summer it can be submitted at any time.
4. The proposal will be discussed by the Graduate Committee and the student and instructor will be informed of the results.
The following procedure was approved by the Graduate Committee on December 12, 1997 and was revised on February 26, 1998, with regards to the Graduate Project documentation, presentation and grading.
Each student must prepare and deliver the following document to members of the Graduate Faculty who are going to attend the presentation and to the project advisor, at least one week before the presentation is scheduled. The document must include the following (for an implementation type project):
Problem specification/definition (1-3 pages)
System/software architecture, if applicable (1-2 pages)
Requirement Specification [software and hardware, if applicable] (6-20 pages)
Design specification (6-20 pages)
Test cases and test results [if any software has been developed] (5-10 pages)
Source code, if any software has been developed (as many pages as needed)
The presentation must be scheduled such that at least two graduate members can attend the presentation. At least two members of the Graduate Faculty will attend each presentation and will evaluate the project as acceptable or not acceptable. The project advisor will give letter grade ("A" or "B") to acceptable projects and "I" to unacceptable projects.
The graduate project must be submitted in accordance with the following procedure.
Once the project is complete, the graduate faculty advising the student must inform the graduate student to complete the rest of this process.
Graduate student must write a graduate report and provide one copy for each of the faculty who will attend his/her presentation. At least one faculty from the graduate committee and one other faculty from computer science department must attend the presentation.
Graduate student must arrange seminar for an hour to present the topic in presence of his/her graduate faculty and two other faculty as mentioned above.
Graduate student must organize the seminar to present the topic and also present a demo to illustrate project work.
Project quality is the responsibility of the graduate faculty advisor and the faculty who administered the presentation. They may review the project on the basis of quality indicators as suggested below and insure quality of education for graduate students. These quality indicators are very essential to our future success of graduate program and vital to our reputation as a graduate school. A quality indicator chart must be filled by each faculty attending the presentation and turned over to the graduate program director in a separate cover. No faculty should share this information during or after the presentation. The graduate program coordinator will use this data to understand the quality of projects and use it to improve other projects.
All international students must register one credit project continuum if the project is not completed in one semester. A project continuum option can only be used once, that is, a student must finish a project in at most two semesters.During the summer, there is no need to register for continuum.