Senior Poster Session

November 29 & 30, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

For the graduating class of 2017

As you're all aware, the CS department is not offering Senior Conference (CS 97) this year. In place of CS97, the graduating class of 2017 must complete the following requirements to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement of the CS major:

  1. As a replacement for the CS97 course, CS majors are required to take one additional upper-level CS course. That is, you are still required to take 9 CS credits to graduate with a CS major, with the CS97 requirement being replaced with an upper-level elective that meets the following constraints:
    • It must be an upper-level CS course taught in the CS department.
    • It can be be any G1, G2, G3 course, or a 1 credit special topics course (CS91), or a 1 credit directed reading (CS93). Two 0.5 credit CS courses do not count towards satisfying this requirement.
  2. For the culminating senior capstone experience, students will create a poster based on a project from a Swarthmore CS course or a summer research project with a Swarthmore CS faculty member, and present their poster at the CS senior major's poster session.

We chose a poster session because it ensures that all students design and present on a topic of their choice, which is an important goal for our culminating experience that may not appear in a replacement elective. As this is our first year for this requirement, we expect that many of you will have questions. Look at the Requirements and Logistics sections of this page for details. The Resources and Tips section has information to help with poster creation and printing. Also, this page will be updated with an FAQ section, so please look here first if you have questions. Upon completion of the poster session, we're eager to hear your feedback for future iterations.


We will hold two poster sessions in the Science Center commons on the evenings of November 29 (Tu) and 30 (W), from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM. You will be assigned to present your poster one of these two evenings, and members of the CS faculty will grade your poster and presentation on the assigned night. You are required to attend the entire session (7-9pm) of your assigned session to present your work, and you are encouraged to attend both evening sessions. Other members of the Swarthmore community will be invited to attend the session.

You will be randomly assigned to present at one of the two poster sessions. If you have a verifiable time conflict with one of the dates, you need to fill out the conflict form in Bridget's office (SCI 239) by November 14 so that we can balance students across the sessions. When filling out the form, please specify the nature of your conflict. The expectation is that you will schedule around these two dates. Acceptable conflicts are requirement beyond your control (e.g., participation in college athletic game/meet or performance).

You should print your poster on or before Nov. 21 of 22. If you plan to print yours on the 21st or 22nd, sign-up for a poster printing time with ITS poster printing sign-up. See below for resources on how to print.

Nov 29 and 30 Attend your assigned poster session on one of these two evenings, and deliver your poster to attendees and to professors for grading. We encourage you to attend both sessions.

During your assigned session you should be in front of your poster, ready to present it to faculty and other attendees at the session. There will be three groups of CS faculty who will visit you, and who will be grading your poster content and your poster presentation. When one of these groups arrive, you should be ready to discuss your poster project and answer questions about it. Each such presentation will be 5 minutes long, so practice presenting the ideas and work of your poster in about 4 minutes. You will present to other attendees who will want to hear about your poster too.


All seniors will be automatically signed up for a zero-credit course, CS99: Senior Comprehensive, which represents your participation in the poster session. To satisfy the requirements for the CS major, you must earn a passing grade in CS 99. For this year, the grades will be assigned as CR/NC only.

To earn a CR grade, you are responsible for two "deliverables":

  1. a poster (details below)
  2. a well-prepared, practiced oral presentation of your poster that is three to four minutes long.

You will present your poster to CS faculty members during your assigned poster session. You can expect them to ask you a few follow-up questions after your brief presentation.


Poster Resources and Tips

There are many good examples of posters in the CS hallway. As you view examples, look at poster layout, font size, and content. If after looking at a poster for a couple minutes you have a general idea of the project, its contribution, and its general solution and results, then it is a good example.

Links to Resources and Tips