In a Nutshell
- This is the webpage for computer science project courses – COSC 3P99 and 4F90. The intent of these courses is to help prepare students for future large-scale projects, both in terms of the workplace as well as those considering graduate studies.
- Students are encouraged to propose their own project topics or to choose from the ongoing projects and research interests of faculty members of the Department of Computer Science.
- Registration requires students to find a supervisor, select or propose a topic, complete an override form ( PDF | DOCX ) and then submit it to the administrative assistant and project coordinator.
- Students may contact the project coordinator to get advice on any of the above steps.
These notes refer to the organization and evaluation of COSC 3P99 and 4F90, being the half-credit and the full-credit project courses for individual students, correspondingly. One of the purposes of the project courses is to assess whether a senior student can work independently toward the delivery of a major piece of work. Each project is supervised by one faculty member (‘the supervisor’) from the Department of Computer Science and requires the ongoing production and submission of written work. It culminates in the submission of the final documents, with an oral presentation to the thesis examining committee and interested students and staff (this is optional for 3P99 projects). Optionally, there may be a second external supervisor from another department at Brock. Students taking or intending to take COSC 3P99 and 4F90 courses are strongly encouraged to attend the departmental seminars. This will facilitate the selection of a proper career path in general and a suitable project topic in particular. In order to further their career goals, students are strongly encouraged to propose their own project topics in consultation with a potential supervisor.
2. Project Selection
A student wishing to undertake a project course should normally find a project topic as well as seek a faculty member willing to act as a supervisor. Given that computing as a discipline owes much of its success to its multidisciplinary relevance, students are particularly encouraged to seek out project topics of multidisciplinary nature. Alternatively, the project topic can be selected from the ongoing projects and research interests of faculty members of the Department of Computer Science. Most successful student projects arise from discussions between students and faculty. Students are encouraged to peruse the computer science faculty members’ page to learn more about their research and reach out to them to discuss potential project ideas.
Occasionally, projects can be proposed and supervised by faculty or individuals outside of the Computer Science department. A computer science faculty member must be willing to be a co-supervisor before the project can proceed.
If a student is unable to find a supervisor, they may write a brief (one to two pages) proposal and submit it to the project coordinator for approval and help with finding a potential supervisor.
2.1. Project Proposal Format
The format of the project proposal, to be submitted by e-mail, is as follows:
Project Title: Title_text Project Type: (Research, Development, R&D) Credit Sought: COSC 4F90, COSC 3P99) Project Status: (Open, Reserved for Student_Name) Proposer: Faculty or Student_Name, Computer Science Supervisor: Faculty_Name, Department_Name Approval: Pending Hardware: (Mac, PC, Linux, etc.) Software: (Ada, C, C++, C#, Java, etc.) Prerequisites: (As required by prospective supervisor) Description: The text of the description comes here. The description should contain sufficient information to enable faculty to evaluate the proposal on both academic merit and the amount of work required.
A student (with the help of their supervisor) must complete an override form ( PDF | DOCX ), and submit it to the administrative assistant (MC J314) and the project coordinator. Once this has been submitted then the student can register.
Students may withdraw from the course by the date specified in the University Calendar without academic penalty – please check the University Calendar for exact dates. A student will normally not be allowed to select the same project at a subsequent registration.
3.2. Challenge for Credit
The course may be ‘challenged for credit’. This challenge is designed to provide credit at the undergraduate level for skills acquired through learning and experience outside the University (see the University Calendar). If challenged, the Department will consider, among other things, the following:
- The project was completed by the challenger while they were employed; and
- A satisfactory report is received from the challenger’s immediate manager or supervisor regarding the original proposal, stating who was responsible for the work.
The project will still have to be presented orally and be supported by appropriate reports. All software (including source code) must also be made available to the Department.
3.3. Independent Work
If a student has started a piece of work independently, then they should have the project approved through the normal channels (as if the work had not yet been started) and register as normal for the course. There is no onus on the faculty to approve such a project, and in fact, additional work may be suggested. This is not the recommended route.
The student assumes the responsibility for the research, design, implementation and documentation of their project. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange, in consultation with their supervisor, a suitable schedule of meetings, with the understanding that these will be met, except in extenuating circumstances, such as sickness. It is the responsibility of the student to be thoroughly familiar with the project guidelines and to ensure that the various deadlines are met.
The project supervisor acts as a consultant on such matters as the structure of the reports, and the department’s expectations on content. In addition, supervisors help students locate reference material, work out system specifications and solve technical problems related to the project. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to make time available, within reason, when the student requests a meeting.
Before setting out on the project, the student and/or supervisor must make sure that the necessary hardware/software is available and ready to use. Requests for the installation of new equipment should be discussed with the Chair prior to the project assignment.
COSC 3P99 projects will be marked by the supervisor. At the discretion of the supervisor, a final oral presentation may be scheduled.
For COSC 4F90 projects, an examining committee consisting of the supervisor and a member of the Department’s faculty, typically based on the areas of interest of faculty and an equitable workload needs to be formed. The examining committee will be present for the final oral presentation. After the presentation, the examination committee will meet in camera in order to arrive at the overall project mark, following the standard evaluation criteria.
6. Department website
At the discretion of both the student and supervisor, the final results of a project may be placed on the department’s website. This can be a useful way to advertise and promote the student’s accomplishments, possibly for future employment.
Please refer to COSC 3P99 / 4F90 guidelines at this link for more details.