Senior Project

CS 498 - Spring 2020

Catalog description:

An opportunity for students to participate in design and implementation of a large project by a small team. Project chosen in consultation with instructor will help analyze the impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and society, including ethical, legal, security, and global policy issues. Includes lectures and seminars reflecting on professional, ethical, and social responsibilities of computing professionals, as well as the need for professional development and life-long learning.


Instructor Dr. Stan Kurkovsky, Professor of Computer Science
Office MS 303-06
Phone (860) 832-2720
Office hours MW 12:00 - 1:30 pm, TR 1:30 - 2:30 pm, or by appointment
Class meetings MW 1:40 - 2:55pm @ WD D116

Textbook and other things you will need

  • No textbook is required
  • In-class handouts
  • Instructor's web site available at and other web sites recommended by the instructor

Course learning outcomes

Program educational objectives and student outcomes are supported by the following course learning outcomes achieved by students upon a successful completion of this course:

  1. Analyze a complex computing problem and to apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines to identify solutions (ABET SO-1);
  2. Design, implement, and evaluate a computing-based solution to meet a given set of computing requirements (ABET SO-2);
  3. Communicate effectively in a variety of professional contexts (ABET SO-3);
  4. Recognize professional responsibilities and make informed judgments in computing practice based on legal and ethical principles (ABET SO-4);
  5. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team engaged in a software engineering project (ABET SO-5);
  6. Apply computer science theory and software engineering fundamentals to produce computing-based solutions that include information management and networking/communication components (ABET SO-6);

Tentative schedule

Week 1: January 21 - 24

  • Introduction

Week 2: January 27 - 31

  • Course project kick-off
    Meetings with product owners
  • Project update

Week 3: February 3 - 7

Week 4: February 10 - 14

Week 5: February 17 - 21

  • Presidents' Day - no class
  • Project update

Week 6: February 24 - 28

Week 7: March 2 - 6

Week 8: March 9 - 13

Week 9: March 16 - 20

  • Spring break

Week 10: March 22 - 27

Week 11: March 30 - April 3

Week 12: April 6 - 10

Week 13: April 13 - 17

Week 14: April 20 - 24

Week 15: April 27 - May 1

  • Project update

Week 16: May 4 - 6

Final exam: Wednesday, May 13, 1:00-3:00 pm

  • There is no final exam in this class

Course project

A project is the focal point of this course. Working in teams and following an agile software process, students must coordinate closely with the external product owner to design and develop a complex software system meeting the desired functional and non-functional requirements.

Every week, each team will update the class about the current status of their project. This does not replace daily scrums or a sprint retrospective for each team. Each team will need to briefly address the following during the project update:

  1. Introduce your team and project
  2. What is the timeframe of the current sprint?
  3. For the current week/sprint:
    • What went well?
    • What didn’t go so well, why, and how would you do it differently?
    • What have you learned?
  4. For the next week:
    • What are your plans?
    • What challenges do you anticipate?

Reading and discussions

During each reading and discussion session, two pairs of students will present alternative points of view on the issues raised in the corresponding reading materials. All students are expected to actively participate in each discussion session by asking questions and expressing their opinions.

Project reflection paper

Each student is required to write a term paper reflecting on their experience with the course project. Formatting requirements: Times New Roman 12 pt font, single spaced, 1 inch margins all around. Minimum length: 3 pages, not including figures, references, etc.

Academic misconduct

All students are expected to demonstrate integrity in the completion of their coursework. Academic integrity means doing one's own work and giving proper credit to the work and ideas of others. It is the responsibility of each student to become familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty and plagiarism and to avoid all forms of cheating and plagiarism. Students who engage in plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct will face academic and possibly disciplinary consequences. Academic sanctions can range from a reduced grade for the assignment to a failing grade for the course. From a disciplinary standpoint, an Academic Misconduct Report may be filed and a Faculty Hearing Board may impose sanctions such as probation, suspension or expulsion.

For further information on academic misconduct and its consequences, please consult the Student Code of Conduct and the Academic Misconduct Policy.


All students are expected to attend class sessions regularly. However, recognizing individual differences, each student is responsible for his/her own attendance and for making-up any missed study or work. Limited assistance will be offered to those with plausible reasons for absences; unexcused absences will result in the student being totally responsible for the make-up process.

Students with disabilities

Please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs if you believe you need course accommodations based on the impact of a disability, medical condition, or if you have emergency medical information to share. I will need a copy of the accommodation letter from Student Disability Services in order to arrange your class accommodations. Contact Student Disability Services if you are not already registered with them. Student Disability Services maintains the confidential documentation of your disability and assists you in coordinating reasonable accommodations with the faculty.

Grades and evaluation

Students will be evaluated regularly during the semester and should be aware of their progress continuously during the semester. The final course grade will be reported according to the stated University policy.

The final course grade will be calculated according to the following distribution of points:

Course project 40
Teamwork 20
Reading and discussions 20
Project reflection paper 20
Total 100

Course letter grade will be determined as follows:

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
94-100 90-93.99 87-89.99 84-86.99 80-83.99 77-79.99 74-76.99 70-73.99 67-69.99 64-66.99 60-63.99 0-59.99