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Computer Science and Systems Analysis

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CSA 448 - Senior Design I

Janet E. Burge, 230H Kreger Hall, 9-0347, burgeje-at-muohio.edu
Jim Kiper, kiperjd-at-muohio.edu

Office Hours:
Burge: M: 3-4, T: 1-2, W: 3-4, Th: 3-4 (subject to change)
Kiper: Variable.

Prerequisite: Senior Standing
Required Text: None.
Additional References: See DR Wiki (participant access onlyl)

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Catalog Description: Student teams conduct major open-ended research/design projects. Elements of the design process are considered as well as real-world constraints, such as economic and societal factors, marketability, ergonomics, safety, aesthetics, and ethics. In 448, feasibility and design studies are performed. In 449, implementation, testing and production of the design will be completed.

The Capstone Experience:

The Capstone Experience, completed near the end of baccalaureate studies, integrates liberal learning with specialized knowledge. Each Capstone emphasizes sharing of ideas, synthesis, and critical, informed reflection as significant precursors to action, and each includes student initiative in defining and investigating problems or projects.

Thus, the objectives of this course are to utilize your knowledge, as a senior student to perform a major open-ended design project. The project is conducted in a professional manner that resembles a real business/industrial environment. Here, you are considered a design engineer working in a multidisciplinary team, and the faculty as the project director/manager and consultant.
The fundamental elements of the design process are integrated with the four goals of the Miami Plan (in bold, below) to help you achieve the capstone objectives. Specifically, you will be able to:

  • Understand context by defining and considering the boundary of the problem, by conducting research, and by considering realistic constraints, as appropriate to each project, which include technical and economical factors, social implications, environmental considerations, marketability safety considerations, reliability, aesthetics, and ethics.
  • Think critically by solving open-ended problems, by establishing objectives and criteria, by brainstorming ideas and alternatives, by synthesizing, creatively, the problem, by analyzing, testing, and evaluating ideas, and by developing proposals.
  • Engage with other learners by actively participating in and learning to function within a multidisciplinary team, by assuming, as necessary, different roles on the team, by communicating with one another and your customer and advisor, and by critically evaluating and reflecting on your performance as well as their team members.
  • Reflect and act on your proposed designs and results, and communicate these effectively with your customer and project manager, by addressing safety and other related issues, and learning to adjust to and evolve with the given stochastic environment of an open-ended business/industrial problem.

Course Learning Objectives. This course sequence is intended primarily for senior students majoring in either Computer Science or Systems Analysis in the CSA department. This capstone experience is intended to require you to work with a team of students to use your knowledge and skills as a senior student to design and create a large software system.

Thus, at the end of the course sequence CSA 448-449, students will be able to:

1: As a team member, work under the direction of a faculty mentor to solve an open-ended problem utilizing computational or software engineering tools and methods

1.1: The student can define the problem, determine requirements to solve the problem, and analyze alternative approaches to solving the problem
1.2: The student can design a solution to the problem
1.3: The student can implement a design producing a functioning software system that meets user requirements or addresses the research problem at a high level of quality.
1.4: The student can validate and verify that the solution solves the problem.
1.5: The student can deploy an implemented software system.
1.6: The student can use standard processes or domain notations and tools such as UML, mathematics, scientific notations, and relevant modeling tools.

2: Demonstrate written and oral communication skills necessary to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences

2.1: The student can interact with the client to determine appropriate criteria and constraints on the design, and the appropriate solution to solve to satisfy the client need.
2.2: The student can document and present the results of the design process by the following means: Prepare and deliver various written engineering reports as requested by the client, Prepare and deliver effective professional oral presentations

3: Work in teams and take on different roles in the team

3.1: The student can successfully function in a team environment.
3.2: The student can document teamwork processes used, and demonstrate ways that they contributed to team progress during the project

4: Understand and apply engineering ethics and professionalism, and demonstrate skills in project management

4.1: The student has the ability to plan, organize, attend, and conduct project meetings
4.2: The student can plan and manage a design project, including time management
4.3: The student can identify ethical implications/considerations of the project

5: The student can demonstrate the need for, and engage in, continuing professional development.

Syllabus: Note: topics, dates, and assignments are subject to change at instructors discretion. Deliverables are due at the start time of class unless otherwise indicated in Cascade. Late status reports or presentations will not be accepted, other deliverables will be penalized at 10% for the first 24 hours, 25% for the second unless a change in deadline is agreed upon with the instructor.

CSA 448 Syllabus
Date Topics Readings Assignments Due
8/24 Initial meeting  
8/31 Project Introduction, Capstone explanation [Burge, Kiper; 2008]

9/7 Team Meeting  
9/9   Status Report
9/14 Team Meeting  

9/23 Team Meetings  


Status Report

9/28 Team Meetings    

Status Report

10/7 Team Meetings Status Report
10/14 Team Meetings Status Report
10/19 Requirements Presentation. All teams together at 4:10 Requiremements Presentation
10/21   Status Report
10/28 Team Meetings Status Report
Jue's version running on capstone server
11/4 Team Meetings

Status Report

11/11 Team Meetings Status Report
Wiki Evaluation Report
11/18 Team Meetings Status Report
11/25 Thanksgiving Holiday - NO CLASS
11/26 Thanksgiving Holiday - NO CLASS

Status Report

12/9 Presentations, all teams at 4:10 Design Specification;
12/10 Individual: Reflective Essay

Grading: The final grade for CSA448 is based on the following:


Assignment Percentage

Requirements Specification

Wiki evaluation report (format TBD) 10%
Requirements Presentation 8%
Design Specification
e-mail assignment (request for technical assistance)

Jue's version working

Prototype (Version 0) 10%
Final Presentation 7%

Team Status Reports
Meeting minutes/agenda (selected meetings)

Participation/Individual Assignments 5%

Individual: Reflective Essay (Individual)



Grading Policy: Numeric grades will be given for all assignments. Final grades to the class will be A, B, C, D, or F as appropriate with A range being 90-100, B range 80-89, C range 70-79, D range 60-69, anything less than 60 an F. Plus/minus grades will be reserved for borderline cases only. 

Group Projects: In your future careers as software professionals, you will need to be able to work with others. This means an often difficult balancing of personalities, abilities, schedules, and motivation levels. You are unlikely to have the ability to fire a co-worker (although you may want to) and are even less likely to get your supervisor's permission to break from the group to do your own, parallel, version of the project. That won't happen here either. It is important to know that group members will be assessing each other and that not all members of the group will necessarily receive the same grade for the project.

Academic Honesty: All work assigned as individual work must be done as individual work. Violations will be handled in accordance with the Miami University Academic Honesty Policy.