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CSCI 4961/4962 Capstone Project I/II - Class Page

Fall 2018

Instructor David Ferry, Homepage
Course Web Site
Course meeting times Monday from 4:10 - 5:00, Ritter Hall Rm. 120
Office hours See my schedule

Table of Contents


The Capstone Project serves as a concluding achievement for graduating students, allowing them to apply knowledge that they have gained from the Computer Science curriculum toward a year-long project. Formally, the project is completed as part of a two-semester sequence of 2-credit courses: CSCI 4961 (Capstone Project I) and CSCI 4962 (Capstone Project II).

Student Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course sequence, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate with a client regarding project requirements and formally document the requirement specifications.
  2. Develop a project design and plan, including reasonable timeline and effort estimates.
  3. Design, implement and test a medium- to large-scale software product which meets given requirements specifications.
  4. Use a range of tools in support of the development of a team-based software product.
  5. Effectively communicate with peers and supervisors in a technical setting.


Key roles in the capstone course are as follows:

The Supervisor and the Instructor will work together in grading the performance of the teams. A non-CS Client may be consulted, but has no formal responsibilities in regard to evaluation.

Project Selection

At the onset of CSCI 4961, the instructor will circulate a list of potential projects to consider. These projects are often suggested by CS faculty members based on research endeavors or educational tools, are based on requests coming from members of the broader SLU community, or in some cases from external community groups. Students will also be afforded an opportunity to suggest project ideas for consideration. Projects should have an appropriate scope for a year-long sequence, having a richness in both aspects of design and use of technology. Past examples of project descriptions will be provided.

At the beginning of the second week, individual students will be asked to submit a ranked list of preferences for projects of interest, and preferences regarding the composition of student teams. The supervisors will make final determination of the teams and their assignments to projects, while taking into consideration the preferences submitted by students. Those assignments will be announced by the end of the second week.

During the third week, each student team must develop a formal Project Plan that outlines the scope of the project, and the timeline for major deliverables for both Capstone I and Capstone II. This plan must be approved and signed by both the Supervisor and Instructor no later than Friday, September 14, 2018 to be considered prompt.

Project Timeline, Deliverables, Presentations

Each project is unique, and teams may adopt one of a variety of project management styles. However, all teams must adhere to the following checkpoints and timeline (details of which follow).

Required Work Deadline
Individual preferences 5:00pm Monday, January 21, 2019
Project Plan (first draft) Friday, February 1, 2019
Project Plan (final/signed version) Friday, February 8, 2019
Weekly reports each Monday
CSCI 4961: Deliverable #1
CSCI 4962: Deliverable #3
Friday, March 1, 2019
Midterm presentation TBD, week of March 4-8
Final presentation Tuesday, May 7, 2019
CSCI 4961: Deliverable #2
CSCI 4962: Deliverable #4
Friday, May 3, 2019
Team self-assessment Friday, May 10, 2019

Repository for Project Artifacts

All teams will be required to use the department git repositories for all project artifacts (e.g., all deliverables, source codes, presentation materials). Both the instructor and supervisor will be granted access to the repository from the beginning of the project. An analysis of contributions to the repository may be used as additional evidence of individuals' participation.


Each semester of the capstone project is graded based upon the performance during that semester. The evaluation of students' artifacts and presentations will be made by a combination of the Instructor and project Supervisor. The overall grade will be weighted as follows:

Letter grades will then be assigned based on the following formula.

Student percentage above 90% will result in a grade of A.
Student percentage above 87% will result in a grade of A- or better.
Student percentage above 83% will result in a grade of B+ or better.
Student percentage above 80% will result in a grade of B or better.
Student percentage above 77% will result in a grade of B- or better.
Student percentage above 73% will result in a grade of C+ or better.
Student percentage above 70% will result in a grade of C or better.
Student percentage above 67% will result in a grade of C- or better.
Student percentage above 60% will result in a grade of D or better.
Student percentage below 60% will result in a grade of F.
Although team members will typically receive similar grades, in some cases the Instructor and Supervisor may consider the relative contribution of individual team members in assigning individual grades.