Course Project

The goal of this project is to give you a taste of what it is like to do research: first you will find and refine a project topic organized around a general problem to solve, this will require some examination of related work; second, you will come up with an initial solution to the problem and a plan for implementing your solution; third, you will implement your plan, possibly modifying it as need be; fourth, you will evaluate your solution though some type of verification or testing process; finally, you will convey the results of your work to others both in written form and through an oral presentation.

Written Project Proposal and Annotated Bibliography

due: Thursday, March 6 at the beginning of class

Oral Project Proposal Presentation

due: in class on Thurs, March 6

Counts towards 7% of your final grade

Annotated Bibilography

You should create an annotated bibliography of at least 4 papers related to your project (more is fine). As you read each paper, add an entry to your annotated bibliography. An annotated bibiliography will list each paper as it would appear in a references section of a research paper. In addition, each listing is annotated with a couple paragraphs that describes the work. Use the course reaction notes as a guide for writing the annotation part: each paper should have 1 paragraph that summarizes the work, lists strengths and weaknesses, and discusses the main contribution of the work, and it should have 1 paragraph that analyzes the work in the context of how it is related to your project (think about asking and answering some questions about this work related to the project you are addressing).

Written Project Proposal:

Your project proposal should be 4-7 pages long. It should clearly state the problem you are solving, how you are solving it, and explicitly list your plan for completing your proposed project. Specifically, your proposal should contain the following:
  1. Title and Authors
  2. An Introduction: 1-2 paragraph summary of the problem you are solving, why it is interesting, how you are solving it, and what conclusions you expect to draw from your work.
  3. Related Work: 1-2 paragraphs describing similar approaches to the one you propose. This need not be an exhaustive summary of related literature, but should be used to put your solution in context and/or to support your solution. This is also a good way to motivate your work. This can be a summary taken from your longer annotated bibilography.
  4. Your Solution: 3-4 paragraphs describing what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, how it solves the problem, and what types of conclusions you expect to draw from your work.
  5. Experiments: 1-3 paragraphs describing how you plan to evaluate your work. List the experiments you will perform. For each experiment, explain how you will perform it and what the results will show (explain why you are performing a particular test).
  6. Equipment Needed: 1 paragraph listing any software tools that you will need to implement and/or test your work. If you need to have software installed to implement your project, you should check with the systems lab to see if it is something that can be installed on the CS lab machines.

    You have access to the CS lab machines, and to my cluster machines for your project work. Currently, all three are running version 2.6 of the Linux kernel. If you want to use software that isn't ported to 2.6, let me know and we can look into installing a different operating system on one of the clusters.

  7. Schedule: list the specific steps that you will take to complete your project, include dates and milestones. This is particularly important to help keep you on track, and to ensure that if you run into difficulties completing your entire project, you have at least implemented steps along the way. Also, this is a great way to get specific feedback from me about what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.
  8. Conclusions: 1 paragraph summary of what you are doing, why, how, and what you hope to demonstrate through your work.
If you want to use latex and bibtex, I have sample starting point files in /home/newhall/public/latex_examples/bibtex that you may find useful.

Getting Started

A good way to get started on your project is to take a look at related work; you want to have an understanding of what has been done, and how what you want to do fits into the field. This will also help you modify and more completely define your solution and determine how to test your solution.

Take a look at the "Getting Started" section of my Honors Thesis Guide for links to places to look for related work papers.
Also take a look at some of the papers on the Additional Cluster and Distributed Computing Papers link off the cs85 homepage.

You should meet with me week 5 or early week 6 to discuss the details of what you plan to do and how you plan to do it.

Presentation Part:

Prepare a ~15 minute presentation describing the what, why and how of your project proposal. This is an oportunity to hear what other groups are doing, and to get some early feedback from your classmates on your project. If you are looking for software/tools to help you, this may be a good forum to ask your classmates if they know of anything.