Senior Project Information for CS190

Some of you may also choose to do a senior project or thesis in addition CS190. See A Guide to the Senior Exercise for more details about both of these options.

For CS190, there are two key changes to your coursework if you decide to do a senior project:

  1. Your survey paper for the class will be on the topic related to your project. In addition to submitting the survey paper material to the CS190 course instructor, you should also submit the material to your thesis advisor.
  2. In addition to the survey paper, you must also prepare a "project plan" (sometimes referred to as an extended abstract). The project plan should be approximately a page and should detail the work that you plan to do for your project including a timeline with rough intermediary goals for the spring. A draft is due with the survey paper draft and a finalized version is due with the final version of the survey paper.

The majority of the senior project work then happens in the spring semester. You will work with your advisor to establish intermediary deadlines and there are a number of general deadlines (see the dates below):

Deadlines and Important Dates

The following dates are for the 2017–18 academic year. They are in addition to the normal CS190 deadlines.

Note that at the end of the fall semester, students must obtain approval from their senior project advisor to continue the project in the spring. This decision will be based on successfully completing the preparatory work required work during the fall semester. Those that are approved should signup for CS192 in the spring semester.

These are the only formal deadlines; you should also work with your project advisor to establish intermediary deadlines.

Senior Project Grading

A Guide to the Senior Exercise has more details on how senior projects are graded (see the bottom of page 3, Section 1.2). We do not intend to assign a percentage grade to each of the criteria. However, we want to let you know that these are the criteria we will be evaluating when determining your project grade.

Formulation of the project's goals is important. On the one hand, a successful project need not be one that is clearly better than all previous work in the area. We often learn as much or more from experiments that fail as those that succeed. On the other hand, we expect you to make your project as successful as possible within the time constraints.

There is an interaction between the goal and execution. A wonderful execution of a trivial goal may not be worth much more than a weak execution on a more challenging goal. A ridiculously challenging goal may preclude you from any success at all. We are looking for balance.